Every Tuesday, a number of amazing bloggers write a Slice of Life. If you are interested in joining in, visit the Two Writing Teachers blog for more information.
This school year, I am happier than I have been in a long time. I was given the opportunity to move out of middle school and back into fourth grade. I jumped at the chance. I went into education to be an elementary school teacher. I love being able to teach all the subjects. I love to read, I love to write, I love math, I love science, I love history, I love teaching it all. I also think that there is a definite comfort zone for every teacher. Yes, I am certified to teach grades 1-8, but I am most comfortable with 4th and 5th grade. This year I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I am invigorated and working hard again.
That being said, I have one of those crazy active classes that drive me bonkers some days. I get hugs and pictures to make up for my patience being tried, but I do reach the end of my patience some days. We are working hard to establish a safe and caring environment. We do things in the Responsive Classroom way, we have morning meetings, and we work to be sure everyone is accepted as part of our collaborative community. This is really hard to do when there are a few kids that struggle with empathy. We are getting there. We will get there, we will.
This school year has been especially full of new things for teachers in my district. There is a new student information system and online gradebook to learn to use, a new evaluation system that requires an in-depth plan, and more mandates from the central office than we can keep track of.
I am working hard to plant my two feet firmly on the ground and to get us all on track. It feels like we take two steps forward and one step back. Part of the problem is the ridiculous amount of fabulous ideas out there. Taking a step back and evaluating my goals will go far in helping to make the decisions I must make. It is mighty overwhelming at times, but I know I will succeed in providing what my students need and giving them a classroom in which they can feel safe and loved. It will all work out, it will.
This is a message I need to give myself today because the day was crazy. If I didn't know any better, I would have sworn there was a full moon today. It must be something else in the air. Now, I need to take a deep breath and repeat to myself: it will work out, it will.