Although I’ve only been outta school for a week and two days, it feels like a much longer time. It ALMOST seems like I haven’t seen “my kids” in a month. That’s probably because about half of them stopped showing up once they got their test scores back. I say almost because for some crazy reason I decided it would be a good idea to teach summer school. And even though it only requires two weeks of teaching then two days of testing, it feels like that last 9 days have dragged on. Dealing with 4th graders who, for the most part, I did not teach during the school year, and who, for the most part, are the “behavior” kids (hence why they are in remediation, because they failed the state test) is not exactly a walk in the park. I’m trying my best to make it interactive (lots of whiteboard work, few worksheets) but the five hours still seem to drag on. I just keep reminding myself that there are only a few days left and it is easy money. Having a beer or margarita after work also helps.
But…back to the main point of me FINALLY writing in this blog again…my first year is done! A handful of tears (both in and out of school), lots of stress, and a few threats (I was semi-joking) to students later, I stand a survivor. After my last emo post back in February, things, like most of you said would, got much better. I attribute that to the stress reliever called Mardi Gras and having an entire week off to recover (from both Mardi Gras and my students). The 7 weeks between Mardi Gras and state testing went by very quickly and overall my kiddos did well. The competitor in me of course was disappointed that not all my students scored high, but the realist in me knows that many of them made a lot of growth during the year and are much more prepared, content wise, for their 6th grade teacher then they were when they came to me in 5th grade.
I also found out that next year I will be teaching only Special Ed which I am totally happy with and super excited for. I think the year will be much less stressful focusing on one job instead of the two I was given this year. As much as I am enjoying my time off I also find myself constantly thinking, envisioning, and researching ideas, goals, and strategies for my classroom in the fall…or should I say late July. I think I spent a good 2 hours this past Saturday on TFAnet looking up a variety of things. I’m semi-obsessed with finally reading all the “teacher” books I’ve collected over the past year and writing down all the things I want to implement in my class. Because the majority of the Sped students that I’ll be working with are extremely low (functioning and performing reading/math on a kindergarten-2nd grade level, when they will be in 4th or 5th grade) I’m trying to think of and find “cool” ways to teach “little kid” material. We’ll see how much longer this motivation last but for now I’m just enjoying this “happy place” that I’m in.