"How's it going?", "So, do you like it?", "Is it better than middle school?"
These are just some of the question I have been asked over the past two weeks.
For new readers, I moved from sixth grade math to fifth grade self contained.
Depending on the person that asks me those question, my response is always different.
Some are just asking to be polite, make small talk. I get it. I say "fine".
Some really want to know. I tell them its good and like everyone, I am adjusting.
Some ask me at the wrong time and I cry. Not from sadness, from exhaustion.
Changing grade levels that you have never taught before is like starting your first year of teaching all over. It's incredibly overwhelming.
I cried a lot when I started middle school. So far, I have only cried a few times.
So, I decided to share my thoughts about my change in 3 ways, #thingsIlove, #thingsIlike and #thingsIdislike (because hate would be too strong of a word) and I want to make sure I add #thingsImissaboutmiddleschool.
#things I love
I love going to school with my two boys.
I love being able to get to school in less than 5 minutes. (we live in the neighborhood across from our school, its awesome!)
I love being able to see them during the day.
I was able to see both my boys on the first day of school during their lunch times.
Found this in the teachers lounge while making copies.
And got to see them trying to find the gingerbread man during my off period.
Love how that worked out!
Love how that worked out!
I love my team.
I work with some very young teachers. They are awesome. I am old enough to be most of their mothers, but I LOVE working with them.
I love my staff. Everyone has been so nice and inviting. I am familiar with many faces because I have had a child there for four years. Plus, our community is very small. I have also worked with some of the teachers at summer school, middle school, training, and sporting events in town. Making friends was not an issue.
I love my admin. My principal has been with our school for years, this is her first year as the principal though and she is awesome. I knew she would be, that's why I chose to move there. Our new assistant principal is great too. I left an amazing leader at middle school, so they had some pretty big shoes to fill.
I love my schedule. In a nut shell, I teach in the morning. We have specials, recess and lunch in the middle and I teach in the afternoon. #sweet
#things I like
I like having the same kids all day. Being self contained means I teach everything to the same kids all day. I was a little nervous about this coming from 54 minute classes. It has been nice. My kids are good. We have a few wrinkles to work out, but we are doing it as a family unit. I see these kids more during the week than my own kids, so yes, they are family to me.
I like the positive systems my school has in place. We are a PBIS school and a Leader in Me school as well. We truly focus on rewarding good behavior.
I like the support available to me. Our district is building an amazing curriculum department and that has been good. In my school we have amazing instructional aides, and interventionist who work really hard. I have two special education teachers in my room this year and they are both amazing. Everyone is doing their part and that is really important.
#things I dislike
I haven't quite gotten a hold on planning for every subject. I have done only math for the past 7-8 years and now I am doing EVERYTHING. This is where a GREAT team is coming in handy.
My students love science time. We have been doing quite a few experiments already. Preparing for those is a LOT of work and time consuming.
Meetings. No one likes these. This week I had a meeting or training, EVERY DAY after school. (wait, not Friday) It's a necessity, I get it, but I don't like it. (who does though, right?)
I also had a meeting 3 out of 5 days during my planning time. YUCK!
Starting something and then finding out how I should be teaching it to match the school's expectations. I started grammar in my ELA block from stuff I found online. Then, we had a training for Rainbow Writing after school on Thursday. This is how it is suggested I do grammar/writing. Okay, I like it. It looks great. The students did it last year, they will. get it. Heck, they will even help me. I just wish there had been more time to learn it before school and start it right away. I am flexible though, so I will make it work.
Duty. It's a necessity though. Thankfully I only have it for one week every three weeks. It's at 7:10am though. So, obviously waking up early is a dislike!
#things I miss about middle school
Seriously, some of you are probably thinking, NOTHING. Who misses teaching middle school?
Me, a little. I like the relationships I built with the kiddos and having "grown up" conversations with them.
Mostly, though I miss the relationships I built over the past four years with my staff, My middle school principal sent me an email the first week wishing me well and saying she missed me. It made me cry. In a good way though. I felt the same way. I miss my teaching buddies. Thankfully though, with social media, I still get to participate in their lives. And again, we are a small town, I will see them around. I even got to see my old students at the football game Friday night. That was awesome!
The change has been good.
I am happy.
Change is just hard, for everyone, not just me.
I am excited about the potential this school year brings.
I am excited about learning new things and teaching them to my students.
Thanks for letting me take some time and just #be real with you!