So...I did it! I created my first blog! Now what?! Does anyone really want to hear every random thought that goes through my head?
Well I guess I will start with the basics...Technically this is going to be my first year teaching. Technically? You ask. Well, I graduated college in Pennsylvania in December of 2008 and substitute taught until August of 2009. At that point I became an Emotional Support Aide for our district. I helped students transition into and out of the emotional support classroom. This meant that for the next year I was in 3 different schools and a total of 5 different classrooms. At the time, I was not thrilled. For the last half of the year my day was split between two buildings. Then I realized how much I was learning. Here I was, a certified teacher, getting to "snoop" in 5 different teachers' classrooms. I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. I saw what worked and what didn't. It was priceless!
During all of this madness, the hubster got a new job, half way across the country...in Oklahoma! Once the school year ended I joined him in this new chapter of our lives...in the middle of no where. He is a chef and culinary arts instructor. I was fortunate enough to receive a job at the same university as my husband. I was a faculty tutor for our local college. This meant that I got to see the end result of all of our elementary teachers hard work. I can't even tell you how scary it was. College students who couldn't make change...college students who couldn't tell you the cost if they bought 2 sandwiches for $2 each...college students who could not form a sentence...and worst of all college students who wanted you to do the work for them. A year later budget cuts took place and my position was cut.
The great job search began. I ended up at a very scary "private school". That did not have curriculum, pencils, or paper despite telling me how "technologically advanced" they were during the interview process. Needless to say I lasted 6 weeks. The verbal abuse was too much to handle. Four teachers, including myself, left within those 6 weeks due to the hostile working environment.
Luckily for me a local school district was hiring and I received two phone calls on the same day for first grade positions! I could not believe my luck! During my interview I had to ask the obvious question...why were they hiring with only 12 weeks left in the school year? Well it turns out, a first grade teacher tragically passed away in a car accident just weeks before. Talk about big shoes to fill. Long story short, I got the job and began making the classroom my own while the district finished up my paperwork. I spent almost a week there, hiding from the kiddos, and sneaking into the room to make changes while they were at lunch or specials.
Finally, a room that was all mine! I was ecstatic! Oh...and the best part...two of my teammates are amazing! The best teammates I could ever ask for. With somewhere around 60 years of experience between the two of them, I was set!
Two weeks later, tragedy strikes...teammate #3 chose to "seek other opportunities." Which meant that my group of kiddos that had already suffered a tremendous loss, spent weeks with substitute teachers, and just got a new teacher, were in for another big change. Six new kiddos were added to our class! Six new kiddos who had already had a rough year. The first week of math I had kiddos crying everyday and pounding on their desks. They were frustrated because they were on their umpteenth teacher, frustrated because they wanted their old teacher back, frustrated because they didn't like their new classmates, frustrated because they were behind and the work was just too hard.
It was a rough few months to say the least, but we got through it. And wouldn't you know they almost looked like second graders by the end of the year?
I will call that my trial run. So now, in August I will begin my first official year as a teacher. I have been feverishly planning all summer long and cannot wait to meet my new little ones. Hmmm...little ones...they are going to be babies! What am I going to do with them? I forgot to mention that pre-student teaching and student teaching were both in second grade. New little first graders are babies to me! Do they know how to do anything? Ugh...that is the scary part for me! By January, I will love them, but these first few months, they are going to scare me!