Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Last Year in K: A new season of transitions.

I have spent 8 years as a kindergarten teacher, seems like it's been much longer then that actually, kindergarteners do that to you, but alas the door is closing.

Honestly, I never pictured myself teaching K...I originally planned to be a high school English teacher. My sister talked me into primary (thank the Lord). I then thought I would teach 5th, but, again, my sister said I would like littles. I taught my very first year in second and loved it. Then was dropped by the roadside like garbage ( I was teaching a bubble class) when they hired someone else to move up the next year rather than keeping the person who worked so hard all year (I didn't even get an interview!).

Then a spot came open in kindergarten. I thought of my subbing days and the constant whining and help needed with coats in k and thought, for sure, that this wouldn't be for me. But I was proven wrong. I loved those kids and kindergarten!! I loved the rock star status in the lunch room. I loved their hand drawn love notes. I loved the glitter and the toilet paper roll crafts. I didn't love the gray hair it gave me, but I loved it nonetheless. It was amazing to have a student come in, barely able to write their name, and watch them leave in the spring reading. This grade is like no other. It truly is the most important work as we lay the foundation for what their beliefs and emotions concerning school will become.

But as we know, if we stay the same for long periods of time, we become stuck in a rut. That coupled with team struggles, and an unsettling year to come, encouraged my heart to apply for a first grade position that came open this year. I was stoked. I was so excited to bring everything I did up a notch, yet still stay in a grade where students still openly love their teachers. And yet regardless of my technology implementation for math and reading, my use of Makerspace in K, my desire to better myself with numerous trainings, my willingness to pilot science, my fellowship as a Neural Educator, my use of GLAD strategies, my collaboration with educators across the country and world via Hangouts, my willingness to teach others how to use Seesaw portfolios, and my ability to use ASL (American Sign Language) in the classroom, I was not chosen.

My heart hurt...a lot. It hurt the most that I had bared my personal trauma and feelings concerning my ex's upcoming release from prison and my several year feeling that I needed to be inside, rather than a portable, and yet that made no difference. #kindness

Then an opening came for fourth grade and honestly, I didn't even think about taking it at first because it was so far removed from the littles I loved. But I thought about my concern for safety, my love of the Titanic and history (both 4th grade topics) and decided to give it a try.

The ensuing mess of cleaning, sorting, and packing my room has made me wonder if I made the right choice. But the smile of former students eager to have me again has me hopeful. Maybe I can survive fourth grade. Stay tuned to see.

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