Finishing the Year Strong

Last weekend I worked tirelessly to complete my Reading Academy assignments and my Gifted/Talented training. I had put it off for a long time, but when I decided that I wanted to get it done, I did! And it was actually super fun. It was in those moments that I decided that I want to really focus on learning more and growing professionally. I’m kind of at a ceiling in my school, but I’m okay with that. We don’t have reading specialists or anything because of it being a 1A, Title 1 school, but I have decided that I can learn and learn and apply it in the classroom. I plan on eventually getting my masters degree just because I want to learn more.

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I feel like I’m a pretty good teacher. Most of my parents are so grateful for the work that I have put in for their kids and the progress that they made. I see all that I could have done better, but I also know that I did the best I could with what I had. Next year will be so much better. I didn’t have a lot of information going into this year but learned along the way.

I never expected to be a professional again. It took me by complete surprise, but it has been the right fit from day one.

I’m going to miss my students so much when this year is over (less than 3 weeks). I’m so grateful that God put them in my life. There have been quite a few tough times with behavior (I have a group full of impulsive kids + they fight like siblings) and COVID (the first semester we were in and out of quarantine). But we are a family, and I look forward to seeing their continual improvement as they move forward. Our school is so small that I will see them all the time. I have been told by some that the siblings in second grade are being requested by parents to be in my class next year. We’ll see what happens there. It just feels good for parents to feel that way.

I have two more days of Reading Academy in about a month, then that will finally be finished. It is a 60 hour course with most of that being in person. It has been a challenge, but I also learned a lot and had a lot of review (which was helpful since I haven’t been in the classroom since 2014). I want to dig into it more, though, because we learned so much so fast that I didn’t have time to dig into it!

Last week the kids and I did a trash clean up around the school and across the road. It was their idea. We are learning about making a difference in our community and they decided that they wanted to clean it up. So, I bought gloves and trash bags, got permission from all the parents, and we got to work. They did great! I only got a couple of pics because I was too busy cleaning up also. They got the attention of the drivers as they drove by them (they honked and celebrated them). My boss bought them popsicles because he was so impressed, and a parent brought Powerade and chips. The kiddos were super grateful for these things.

I have added some things to our flexible seating recently, and I started using the Whole Brain Teaching program for classroom management. I plan to start the school year in August using this program/method. It’s pretty amazing.

We have been learning about life cycles and we are experiencing them live! We have butterflies, ladybugs, tadpoles, and a green bean plant :-). The kids LOVE all of it. And they have taken responsibility to take care of all of them. They fight over it. Haha.

And lastly, I only got one card for Teacher Appreciation, but I’m super grateful for it. It means so much to me, and I will hold onto it for life. I got a few texts from some of my parents too, and those will always stay with me.

I may be teaching summer school, but only if it can happen in July since I’ll be out of town a large amount of June. If they find someone to do it in June, that’s what will happen. It’s just hard to find someone in our small school that wants to do it, but I think I would do a decent job at it if it happens. We will see.

Ultimately, I’m so blessed to have been part of these kids’ lives and to see the growth and improvement that has happened. I’m also excited for a new year and have many plans.

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