Anyone remember the show Recess?
Another school year is almost over and it is bittersweet as always. I am so ready for summer and to prepare for a new class, but at the same time I will miss this lovely group of students I am sending on to fifth grade. I have now been teaching a little over 3 years and I have learned so much. It is incredibly difficult to be a teacher but also incredibly rewarding. I know I haven't posted in a bit, but my job gets in the way in the best possible way. Today, I just wanted to write a quick story about the highs and lows of teaching.
I knew exactly what I was getting myself into when I decided to become a teacher, or at least, for the most part I was aware. My mom was a teacher before she retired and when I couldn't find a job after my undergrad school was done, I became a substitute teacher. I have always worked well with kids and volunteered, tutored, and helped out around schools. After just a year of substitute teaching, I knew I wanted to go into teaching and be able to work with kids every day. I also knew that teaching was a very difficult job. Not only do you have to deal with children, you have to deal with administrators, parents, other teachers and even politicians who think they know what is best for your job. (haha!)
I went forward on my journey, got my teaching degree and began my first year in the classroom. BAM! I was immediately overwhelmed. So much paper work needed to be taken care of, so many individual needs of not only the students but of all the other teachers that needed my students or needed me to be part of the fourth grade team. Thank goodness for my coworkers who were very helpful those first few months. Around October I really started to get the hang of the daily routine. However, as soon as I was used to something, it would change again. Teaching teaches you to become flexible and to think on your feet.
About half way through the year I was so exhausted. I kept getting sick and I was stressed and tired. I had to start preparing the students for the big end of the year tests while still teaching the subjects and taking care of my own personal life. I was discouraged to say the least. It was just so much. Then, during one of my parent-teacher conferences a parent told me what a difference my class was making in her sons life. He was enjoying reading more since I picked out a few books I thought he would like and he was doing much better in spelling and math. She was so glad to have me for her son's teacher! Wow, what a compliment. All the rest of the conferences were quick and boring, but that one made all the difference.
By the end of the year I was ready for summer, but I knew I had done a great job through the school year. The students didn't want to leave on the last day. I sent them on their way feeling satisfied with the job I had done. And every year now I feel the same way on the last day. The students grow so much by the end of the year and so do the teachers. It is a terribly difficult job at times but it is also incredibly rewarding. All I can say is, dear readers, I hope you find your own job that you enjoy and feel like you are making a difference. There ends my rambling and I hope to be back to new photos soon. So go forth readers and enjoy your summer. I know I will!