Friday, May 27, 2011

Now It's Time To Say Good-bye

Today was my very first, last day of school as a teacher.  My day was fairly low key and unemotionial.  I only had two students show up and therefore I was able to finish packing up my room.  A more emotional day was last Tuesday when my students had their Kindergarten Celebration!  We no longer call them graduations because....well...I don't know why.  My students worked VERY hard to learn the song Happiniess from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown.  It is a very difficult song because there is really no refrain.  We worked on that song at least three or five times a day for about three weeks.  My kids were the JAM and they were really excited about performing for their parents.  The big day came and all but two students showed up on time.  They were dressed in their suits and dresses and looked simply adorable.  The crowd was large and I was pretty nervous.  I am not a very good public speaker, and I was expected to say a few words about my class and my assistant.  When it came time for my students to perform we all stood nicely on stage and the music started.  We started singing when I noticed that something was not quite right.  We were supposed to be singing to a cd without vocals but as the song went on I realized the music teacher had put in the WRONG TRACK!  This would be perfectly fine if the vocals on the track were singing the same lyrics as us!!  I don't think anyone but me and the music teacher noticed.  Throughout the program the parents were loud, inconsiderate, and rude.  It made me a little angry because my students had worked so hard practicing and the parents acted as if they were at a party or something.  After the program I had ten students stay at school and seven students go home.  Each day following the celebration I had less and less students and today I was down to my final two.  I was not emotional or sad when the day ended, but I did a lot of reflecting on how my year went and what I could have done better.

When I started teaching I was insecure and knew nothing about what I really needed to do in order to teach my students.  As I got to know my students, administrators and co-workers I started to get better and better at teaching.  By February or March I felt like I had a good handle on teaching.  I realized that there were major changes that needed to be made in order to make my next group of students successful.  I sorta felt like I let my current students down by not teaching as effectively as I knew I could do next year.  I quickly realized that I did my best with what I had and that my students were given a lot of new experiences that they would not have had if they were in a different class.  I believe that even if my students don't have the highest test scores, or the best writing and reading skills, they have a lot of confidence and experience and therefore they will thrive in first grade.

A few weeks ago I found out that my position was being eliminated, and then I found out that my principal is retiring.  Neither of those things were very good news.  I love my principal and I was afraid that if she left I would not get a position in my school next fall.  She assured me that she is working on getting me a contract and I believe her.  I really feel like that school is where I am meant to be.  I recently found out about an opening at my school in the 4K program.  I expect to hear in the next week or two whether I have the position or not.

All in all I have had a really fantastic year.  I have met some wonderful teachers, made some awesome friends, and taught the most precious kindergartners I have ever worked with.  I have fallen in love with teaching and can't wait to do it again next year.

Until then I say so long.  I hope you will continue to follow me and support me as I venture into my second year of teaching.