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.


The Oxford Family said...

Awe! It was a rocky year but you survived and came out better than ever! Your kinders are lucky to have you! Can't wait to tag along with your adventure next year!

vargy said...

I admire you for entering the blogging world! It has helped me connect with other K teachers.
And as for crying the first day...week...month of school- I just finished my 10th year teaching Kinder, & it still happens to me. :)
If you didn't quit in your first year, then you might just have found where your teaching heart has been hiding. Good luck to you!

The Stevens Family said...

Thank you!! @Vargy I am taking a leap. I think blogging will be a good outlet for me. I'm excited to share some documents I've been working on for the beginning of the year, so check back for some freebies! Thank you both for your support.

KinderKapers said...

Hello! I am your newest follower. I just had to follow you (our stories and our names are too similar!). I have been teaching for a long time and last year was my first year back in K since my daughter was 5 (she is 33). I also had a tough class and all kinds of people were in my room observing and trying to help me get a handle on things (I thought because I was so good in 3rd, Kindergarten would be a piece of cake...wrong). I however choose my change in grade level (although two years before I was forced to move from 2nd to 3rd and I went there kicking and screaming)

Then you only have to look at the names of our blogs! I had decided on my name back in June (when you started), but didn't get started writing until the end of July. Somehow I think our brains may be connected.

Can't wait to hear more of your adventures!

Terri Izatt

The Stevens Family said...

Thanks for the comment! You've done a lot more writing than I've done this summer. I'm following you too now, so I can read about your adventures this year. I hope you have a better year this year!


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