I made it! I am finished with my first year of teaching in Washington! I am mostly happy with it all. There are definitely things I would have done differently and things I wish I had been better at, but if you don't feel that way at the end of the year, you shouldn't be teaching. I have made some great friends and learned more this year than I did in 5 years in Texas (which is not to cast aspersions on Texas, but simply pointing out how amazing this particular faculty is and how much I've grown this past year).
Things I've learned:
a. how to be a better collaborator
b. how to integrate curriculum from other subject areas better
c. how to read and use educational curriculum more effectively
d. how to keep an open mind and listen to others better
Things I would like to do better next year:
a. parent communication (this will ALWAYS top my list)
b. reorganize and focus the world history curriculum
c. student communication regarding grades and absences
d. give more hands-on work to students
All in all though, I am more relaxed and happy at the end of this year than I think I ever was in Texas. I'm excited for all the opportunities that are coming my way this summer, and I am definitely back on track for improving myself and becoming a more effective teacher.