As I was driving back from town yesterday, I realized that I’m about to live out a dream of mine, and I became giddy with excitement.
I loved my job this past year. It was amazing to be back in the classroom after 6 years. I realized that I was made for this. God dropped the job in my lap. The school had challenges, but was the best one I have worked at. I loved my students dearly and they seemed to love me too. I made mistakes and learned a lot. I developed relationships with the parents of my students. I did exciting lessons and activities. We watched caterpillars turn into butterflies, we watched the lifecycle of the ladybug, we watched a tadpole grow legs. We had fun learning about astronomy, matter, and so much more. We learned some US history which included a bit about the revolution and Constitution along with branches of government and some economics. We discussed culture. My students almost all grew 1-2 grade levels in reading and math. We wrote personal narratives and informational pieces in addition to daily quick writes. We did lots of hands-on math and daily math meetings. This is just a brief explanation of our year.
The downsides were that the other 3rd grade teacher didn’t care to work together so I felt like I was on an island to figure everything out on my own. That part was very miserable and brought anxiety. Prepping for the STAAR test was a huge challenge (and I didn’t do great at it). Covid was really hard and the fact that my students came to me very behind was tough. There were other hard things, but they are more specific so I will leave them out of this post.
But I muscled through and came out the other side a much stronger person able to handle more.
I started the summer with a super long list of things that I wanted to do to prepare to teach 3rd grade all subjects again. I was registered for 60 hours of professional development, mostly for math and reading. I was told that I was going to teach the same thing again so I didn’t even think things would change.
Monday I found out that there would be a possible change. This was really surprising to me. He said he would tell me more when we met on Wednesday so I sat in it for a few days coming to terms with a change. I was struggling with the thought that maybe he was switching me because my STAAR scores weren’t good at all. That was tough. I knew I worked so hard with my kids. The hardest part is that my students came to me very behind. I did a lot of self-loathing because I thought I really messed up. I was hyperfocusing and acting a bit impulsively because of it. It’s exhausting to hyperfocus. At least I know why I do that now (ADHD).
Wednesday was a really good day. It started with being a part of an interview panel for our library aide position. It was fun meeting new people, getting to know them a bit, and asking important questions for the position. I utilize the library very, very often which is why the library director asked me to be part of the interview panel.
I met with my principal around noon and our conversation went VERY well. After our conversation I realized that he actually values me and thinks I have a lot to bring. He moved me to 4th and 5th grade science and social studies, and I will also be doing RTI Reading Remediation (doing intervention with the kiddos who struggle with reading deeply). I get to teach Texas history again and US History for the first time. These excite me SO much. He wants me to teach reading skills through social studies. I will also tie math into science. Integration is KEY. There is a STAAR test for 5th grade science, but that’s all I have to worry about as far as testing. I love doing hands-on activities in science to make it more interesting and easy to learn. Intervention is one of my favorite things. It’s super important because the goal this year is to try to get everyone on level in reading and math. I have big goals this year, and I cannot wait to see them come to fruition.
There are some details that I don’t have yet such as what my schedule will look like, what the RTI will look like (like how many groups I will work with, etc). I’m waiting to find out if I will get a resource that I requested (he said in September when the new budget starts, but we will see). And I have been told that I will probably get to stay in my room (yay!), but he hasn’t decided completely yet. I’m sure I’ll know by next week.
And the BEST part of all of this is that I get to work in a cohesive team! One of the people is a good friend of mine. We have a lot in common and get along so well. She’s positive and helpful and just so wonderful to be around. Then I learned about a new teacher that will be joining our team, and I have been chatting with her. She seems awesome as well! I think we will be the dream team. Haha.
Everything makes me giddy. Teaching US History and Texas history. Teaching science (I love to do hands-on activities). I have a true passion for these subjects. Doing RTI Remediation. Also my heart. Working with some awesome people. Being trusted and valued. Being heard. Teaching my kids from last year!!! Having the same parents that I had and adored. I look forward to an amazing year!