Oh happy day, friends. I have been blessed to be a first-year 5th year teacher for 13 days now, and I reflect SO often –on my students, on my words, on my use of time, on my kiddos, on my relationships with other teachers, on my teaching abilities.
- 5th grade is a world unto itself. Like whoa. While I am sure every grade would say this, it’s all new to me! From interacting with 90 kids every day, to teaching one subject, to changing classes every 50 minutes, to Lexile levels of 900, to BIG kids – it’s wild.
- 13 days ago my kids were just names on a list, and now, they are ‘mine.’ I love them a ridiculous amount. They are absolutely hilarious, so goofy, and will indulge in Sticker Tuesday just because it’s important to me. My heart breaks when I hear their stories. My spirit is lifted when they tell me they finished a chapter book for the first time. My kids are social, growing, about-to-be-hormonal beings who desperately want the friendship of their peers and my approval.
- I love my kids, but they also frustrate me to no end. I have to figure out how far I can push without deflating them. My students are SO capable and so intelligent. I see them doing and learning amazing things, and – by some type of osmosis – I want them to believe the same. My students are powerful, and I need to learn how to show them their power and how to channel it.
- I like smiling. I didn’t know this about myself until Wednesday when one of my fifth grade friends announced, “Ms. W, you must really like smiling.” This is right after Sam told me I bounce a lot. My response: “I love you, and I will bounce all day long if it helps you remember perfect verbs.”
- I am constantly reminded that my experience and success in school, does not mean my students are the same. Therefore, I must be thoughtful. I must be aware. I must be intentional.
- Four boys on the grey carpet, two boys in the corner by the filing cabinet, Claire in the ‘hole’ by the sink, Lindsey in the teacher’s chair, and three girls under table 4…13 days in and we’re becoming readers. We read together. We read independently. We crowd around the latest Ripley’s books, and we pick our favorite quotes from Ivan. 13 days into school and we are 72 books into our 1,200 book goal for the year. They are going to bleed my personal book-fund dry by the end of this month. I cannot acquire books fast enough.
- I am always at school. It’s a very good thing I love it there. I am always exhausted. Thank goodness, I love naps.
- Some days I feel successful. Most days I cling to the successful moments. So often during the course of my day I think, “God bless, these children. I hope they become functioning adults one day. If they do not, fingers can be pointed at me – their first-year 5th grade reading and writing teacher.” But really… Many of the things I try work well. They could and will be tweaked in future years, but overall, not bad….but, those moments of failure seem so much deeper when you are in your own classroom. It’s like a pilot watching his/her own plane crash. I can see the carnage 50 words ahead of where I am. “Perfect verbs……sdbnsjkdfsdkfjsdklnfsdfiodfjsdiofnsdfnsd.” *explosion*
- It’s better than I ever dreamed of, and I have dreamed of being a teacher for a long time. While I do not believe in crying, my cheeks are being watered when I think of the awesome responsibility and honor I (and we) have to teach, learn, and guide. Without fail, we have the most wonderful job. While my plans never included teaching 5th grade, it is a place and ministry I love. It’s hard to admit because it means I got it wrong, but I am so thankful He got it right.Wow.
Well, that’s me right now,
friends. I really love my life right now. There is no sense of balance or life
outside of school, but I see that coming soon. Rather, I am enjoying the ‘high’
of being a new teacher. Think back to your first year; it really is a wonderful
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