Whoever said it gets easier in Year 2 is a lair.
My second year of teaching is just as stressful (and occassionally more) than my first year. Granted I haven't broken down into uncontrollable tears yet (well, there was that one time...) and I actually know what I'm teaching the kids each day.
But... that's the problem. Since I know all the horrible mistakes I made the first go around, I'm bending over backwards and practically killing myself to make improvements. I still find myself at school until 9pm and being the last car in the parking lot. I still find myself knocking out while grading and frantically waking up at 4am to finish lesson planning. And I still find myself to close to no personal life.
But I still love what I do. It's a lot of fun. It's fulfilling. I'm more confident. And over the last month, it really has gotten better. So maybe that person wasn't such a big liar after all. In Year 1, things only got better after the first semester.
The best thing about teaching is probably all the love and laughs you get out of your students. Like when for my birthday, a bunch of my old 6th graders (the new 7th graders) made a point to write on my board and make me cards. Or like last week, when I gave them a test. When I picked them up, one of the girls had drawn a heart around my name. It had me beaming the whole day long.
Later that same day, I learned that while they like me, a lot of the kids find me super intimdating. One kid goes, "She like THE GRUDGE!" I never laughed so hard... especially the next day when I passed back the test and since they didn't know I'd be taking them back up, a kid wrote "okay grudge!!!" next to the note I left him.
When I spoke to him about it after class, you could see the pure terror on his face. I had to hold in the laughter as I kindly, but sternly told him I wasn't mad. He could have whatever opinion he wanted of me, but... it may not be too respectful to voice that on your test. Just a hint, kid.
I expected him to go bolting out the door once I said he could go, but he actually asked if he could come see me Monday to help improve his grade.
So do they love me? Or do they hate me? Who knows? I love teaching them and I'm having fun either way :-)