Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Thoughts of a Teacher

I sat down to blog this morning, something I've not done in over a month.  Something I've not done as regularly as I once often did.  It's not that I'm out of ideas.  I have tons that I want to share with you, and even though I don't always post pictures of what we're doing in class, I've made quite a few new things.  But as I sat down to blog, I quickly got back up and went to clean the kitchen.  Then I thought I needed to clean out the refrigerator.  Doing that made me realize that I needed to tidy up the living room, do the laundry...well, you get the idea.  It's like if you give a mom a cookbook. Yeah, that book is published in my head and is my daily life.  You go to the kitchen to make supper and realize all this other stuff needs done too.  OH for the love of Pete, why don't I remember it being like this when I was little? :)

Being a mom is by far my most important job role.  With two kids involved in activities, 4-H, karate, soccer, softball...then volunteer activities when we can.  Life gets busy, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm SO thankful that I was blessed to be a mom...that I had that opportunity...regardless of how chaotic my life may become.

Moving on to school:  This year has been a roller coaster year.  It has been filled with ups and downs and a bundle of confused feelings.  First, I love my job.  I always wanted to retire from education as a reading teacher.   I'm finally in the position that I have patiently awaited.  I do love what I do...working with students who I feel I can and will make a difference with.  But this job also comes with a feeling of sadness.  It's a lonely job.  It's not that I don't work with a wonderful group of people because I do.  I just don't see anyone other than my little kiddos.  Sure, we meet and have TBTs, but there's no time to talk or catch up.  I am kind of on my own in my own little world.  No one to collaborate with (I'm the only primary reading teacher), no one to bounce ideas off of.  Even when we meet in our TBTs, I'm there to only listen and assist as needed for what is happening in the grade level.  I feel that the teachers are getting a tad stressed because we do have a lot of meetings.  And though those meetings can SOMETIMES be beneficial, our minds are constantly wandering.  We view it as lost time and think about how our time would be better suited in prepping for our next lesson.  I'm guilty of it.  So then I'm now realizing that those TBTs could seriously be MORE beneficial if I just turned the teacher mind off.   Easier said than done right?

The first thing on a teacher's mind in the morning is school, and then when school lets out, you wonder did you do enough?  This has always been a worry of mine.  Am I doing enough?  If nothing else, I am THERE.  That says a lot that I'm a caring person in their life.  Some are always going to have academic struggles, emotional battles with home life, and even others may struggle with clothing and food--so I'm there and I care!  That, to me, is A LOT.  Testing, grades-sure it is important.  But even more so the fact that I care about these kids MORE than growth measures will ever show is what made me want to be a teacher in the first place.

So this year,as I tackled on a new job--the job I've wanted for years--I thought hey, MAYBE life can slow down. I can create new things as I get to it.  Oh no.  This is one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs I've had.  The teacher before me left me big shoes to fill.  She was AMAZING.  She is assuring me I'm doing a good job and was glad that it was me that was able to take over the position.  She says that so many people would just take a position and consider it a cake job.  It's not.  Teaching K-3 reading and planning for those grade levels, on top of 1-2 math makes for a busy woman.  I'm the teacher who feels I have to have a game, some engaging connection with each lesson.  So, it does wear me down just a bit.  Then, we transfer our students out at the end of the semester if they are "caught up" or if others need to come in.  Right when you feel you're making a difference....isn't that the way it goes?

So there are many ideas, many resources, and many new things I've learned and want to share.  I guess I just don't know which grade level to post about as I'm all over the place with skills, subjects and grade levels. It has made blogging a tad hard this year..... I have learned one thing though---I've always been scared of 3rd grade---but it is becoming a fast favorite.  Yes, I still love first, and second---oh who am I kidding, I just love my job and all the little ones I'm encountering.

So if you've bared with me, please check back tomorrow.  I'm sharing an idea of how I do small group reading with my 3rd graders.  They are struggling with comprehension so we are working on close type readings using Reading A-Z books.  I will have some freebies for you then too!

Thanks for listening to my rambles!!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I have been teaching small group RTI to 2nd graders for three years now. I feel the same way so often. I am not really part of the 2nd grade team like I used to be. I was their grade chair before I accepted this position. So, I went from the "go to" girl to "totally out of the loop". :) Then, you feel pressured because these students' gains are so crucial. I, too, feel isolated sometimes because I only see students all day long, but this job can be extremely rewarding, too. It is a bit of mixed bag, but I guess all jobs are! Overall, there is no other teaching job I would rather have, but it does have a few drawbacks. Hang in there!

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