Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New Adventure

Warning:  long, personal post...

To say that this past school year was difficult would be an understatement.  I have been teaching 10 years.  A whole decade.  You would think that teaching kindergarten would not be a problem after having several years under my belt, but I must say that it was a whole. different. world.  Kinderland.  Let me give you a little backstory on my teaching career...

10 years ago, I began teaching fifth grade, and I taught it for another five years.  In the meantime, I went back to school, got my master's, got a reading certificate, and decided I wanted to become a reading/intervention specialist.  It was my passion!  I applied for and got a reading specialist position at my school.  Those were the best two years of teaching I could have ever asked for.  I helped teachers and struggling students, I taught the GATE class.  It was a dream job for me.  However, as those of us in education are well aware, budget cuts to education in California have been severe.  I was placed back in the classroom in a 2nd/3rd combination class.  My husband's health went downhill, I had an infant at the time, and I was devasted having lost my wonderful position...cue the violins.  I figured the next school year couldn't be any worse.  Never say that.  The following year I had a 1st/2nd combination class.  Another year with the stress of teaching a combination class, in addition to my family responsibilities, only to find out the next year I would be teaching kindergarten.  Sigh.  Did you count that up?  Four grade levels, three years.  Stressful?  Yes.

To be honest I was quite resentful to have been placed in kindergarten at the beginning of the year.  I felt like I was being stuck there.  I freaked out all summer thinking I could hardly handle my own five-year-old and two-year-old, how could I possibly handle 25 kindergarteners!!??  Then the school year started.  I cried.  Every day.  Three or four times a day.  The first week of school was AWFUL.  I could NOT believe the hand I had been dealt with the students in my class.  There were a multitude of behavior problems in addition to the normal five-year-old antics.  The first week of school I had the counselor, psychologist, and county psychologist in my classroom observing students.  NEVER had I EVER had so many people in my room observing kids.  Several nervous breakdowns later, several months later...despite the craziness of kinderland, I have grown to love it.  The growth you see in kindergarten is just amazing.  The tingly-teary-eyed-teacher-moments, kind of growth.  I have never ever told students that I love them, and this year I can honestly say I love LOVED my kids.  Even the ones that made my hair fall out.

As resentful as I was at the beginning of last year, this summer I cannot wait for the start of the next school year.  I have grown so incredibly much more this year as an educator than I ever have before.  I am TPT junkie, and am thinking I might, just might be able to create my own contributions to the education world.  So stay tuned...I think good things are on the horizon.