Monday, April 7, 2008

Easy Come, Easy Go

I really try not to talk about work too much on here for several reasons. 1) I'm a teacher and you just don't do that kind of stuff, 2) I would hate to mouth off about someone and then that person come across my blog (hey, you know that happens), 3) I'm pretty sure that I'd be breaking a rule somewhere because I have no doubt that among everything I've signed over the years there was bound to be a confidentiality agreement in there somewhere, and 4) it's really not all that interesting (let's face it, poor Chase will so not want me talking to his class when Career Week comes along). Don't get me wrong, I like my job 99% of the time. I wasn't one of those little girls who dreamed of being a teacher when I grew up, but that's what happened and overall I'm glad it did... because I adore summers off.

Hmmmm, maybe that doesn't really sound good. Let's go at this from another angle. Teaching first grade is likely the hardest teaching position that I can think of. I'm not saying that other grades don't work their hineys (how's that for a teacher word) off during the year, but first grade teachers work harder than any other grade. I've taught other grades, so I feel I have the right to say this. Seriously, think about it. At the beginning of the school year you get children that are barely six in most cases, 75% (or more) can't even read words bigger than cat and in all reality that's really a very generous number because it's probably more like 50%. I always come home sweating, hyperventilating and hysterical after the first rounds of testing because, "Good God these kids can't read, how am I going to do this... I think I'm going to die!" Jeff is very good about assuring me that the year before was the same and by the end of this school year they will not only be reading, they will be writing, comprehending, and even enjoying it as they do it. He is always right (when it comes to this, let's not be too generous and get him thinking that I mean he is ALWAYS right).

The end of the year is by far the most rewarding part of the school year because the students that came to you and couldn't spit out the word "a" (yes, I've had this happen) are now reading pages that have paragraph upon paragraph on them... and it's because you taught them. ***pat on the back***

Now as much as I enjoy these sweet rewards, three years ago I was given a position in a lab where students that were struggling and needed extra help would come and work in small groups. I LOVED this. I got to work w/the students from all the grades so I was still involved with the kids, but I had no lesson plans, no grading, no parents to deal with, no lesson plans, no grading... see where I'm going w/this? It was A.W.E.S.O.M.E. However, apparently all good things must come to an end and we received a new principal one year into my assignment that brought her BFF (ha, I've been waiting to use that!) in and put her in my spot. Hence, putting me right back in the classroom and having to do lesson plans, grade papers, and deal with parents. *sigh* Being the fantastic team player I am I sucked it up and jumped right back into things - right back in to first grade and right back to my old school - that would teach them.

As things work out my campus was going to have this particular position open again next year and I wanted it bad. I mean who wouldn't???? No lesson plans, no grades, no parents, get to work w/all the kids in small groups.... the perfect position! I actually thought I had it. The principal had come to me to see if I was interested, our future principal had talked to me about it and sent me to a workshop that I would be able to use for it, I mean I seriously thought it was in the bag... right up until Friday when I counted my chickens too soon and felt a stinging in my back when I learned that it was not being given to me. *sigh, sniffle, sigh* I didn't ask why or who got it, I just took the news with a smile and went back to my room to cry. No seriously, I didn't cry, but I was VERY disappointed.

So, it looks like I'll be teaching first grade again next year. This has it's ups - I know what I'm doing and obviously I kick ass doing it (that's called tooting my own horn) and it's downs - did I mention how tough of a grade it is to teach? I guess I'm just going to grow old in first grade, man I had really hoped I was going to pass (that's for you Mom). Oh well, easy come, easy


crayonmommy said...

Kahla, I am sorry about your NEARLY THERE job opportunity. That sucks. I will attest to 1st grade being the hardest grade. I see them all, and first is the KOOKIEST, most high maintanence grade I have ever come across from K-8. :) So, I got your back and agree on that one. I wish you could find something like resource, especially with a young child -- I can't imagine having to do what classroom teachers do at the end of the day when you have a baby at home. Anyhoo, I am praying for you, and I hope the person who GOT YOUR JOB, is at least nice to you. I have heard alot of the "good ol' boy" system" being the system of choice out Willis. (this is from my disgruntled ex-Willis employees, though -- so I may have a bias view about it.)