Friday, August 28, 2015

Changing Gears

We have just finished our first full week of school and we are already in full swing!  I can tell this is going to be a great year with a class full of unique and wonderful personalities!  This being my second year of teaching, it's the first time I've parted with a class at the end of one year and started with a new class at the beginning of the next.

My first class was one for the books.  Holy moly.  My first year of teaching exceeded my expectations and left me feeling blessed.  We had something truly special: there was a level of trust I've never seen among a group of kids before, we laughed, we cried, we learned about ourselves, we learned how to just be.  And boy oh boy did that lead to a very difficult and very emotional end of the year for all of us!  My 23 Mouseketeers and I shared a very teary goodbye on a sunny afternoon in June.

Then all of the sudden, there were 25 brand new faces staring at me one sunny August morning.  And they are not last year's class.  They are this year's class.  (And last year's class was my first class, there will never be another one of those...just like this year's is my second class and there will never be another one of it!)  As we've gotten to know each other over the past week I've discovered that I am just as blessed to be learning alongside some incredible kids once again.  Notice the word learning: first I wrote teaching, then changed it to leading, and finally landed on learning.  No matter how much I teach my students, or how well I lead them, what matters most is that we learn together.

Now to the real inspiration for this post: changing gears from the end of one year to the beginning of the next.

This is something no one warned new teachers about!  You leave one class ready for the next grade.  Then you start the next class with students who just finished the grade level before yours.  Last year's third graders were basically 4th graders when school ended!  This year's third graders are basically 2nd graders right now!  Little 4th graders to big 2nd graders.  That's a BIG difference.  It may be a big difference, but it definitely is a fun adventure!  Although it was nice to have everything dialed in last year and know what to expect every day, a new group of kids is keeping me on my feet!  I get to do the beginning of the year again, but this time, I've actually done it before!  This year is for repeating what I loved, changing what I didn't, and taking notes for my third beginning of the year.

I'm really looking forward to what this year, and this group of kids, will bring.  Right now I have to keep reminding myself that we are learning how to be in 3rd grade right now.  We are learning new routines, how to use the classroom, how to be just a little bit older, we are learning a lot!  And we have all the potential of reaching the level of trust last year's class had, but it's only been 7 days.  There's a reason we aren't there yet.  But we will be.  Soon.

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