Sunday, August 29, 2010

Year 4...already...WOW!

I've just completed the third week of school marking the beginning of my 4th year of teaching. I am amazed at how quickly time has flown by. I remember my first day of teaching and being scared sh**less - literally. Petrified that something horrible would happen...and now here I am four years later a much more confident and able teacher who has grown so much! My passion for teaching is still on fire and I feel so much better about who I am as a teacher, mentor, pseudo-parent, confidante, counselor and friend. My students from these years have changed my life in so many wonderful and humbling ways. They have taught me patience and grace, humility and love. They have reinforced the power of a single word, for better or worse. They have made me laugh and cry both happy and sad tears. They have touched my heart in ways they'll never fully understand. I am honored and blessed to be a part of such an amazing profession.

Each year presents its own set of challenges, whether it's a new lesson plan format, new training, new time constraints, observations, and student issues. Each challenge, I've found, has only helped me to grow as a teacher. To learn from my mistakes (and hopefully the mistakes of others), and to learn more about the politics and bureaucracy that partner with this profession. I am amazed at how much more I still have to learn.

This year I only have 18 students in my classroom, thus far. While the "number" is low, the behavior issues are high - which tends to even things out. I almost would rather have a large class size with NO behavior issues, than a small one with lots of issues. My challenge this year is five years old with blue eyes and blonde hair. Our most recent challenge was 4 full-on tantrums in one day. By tantrums I mean wall-paper peeling pitched screaming, shoe throwing, kicking, hitting and punching episodes. That day left me pretty well speechless and firmly convinced that those days are far better forms of birth control than the pill could ever be. ;) He can be a wonderfully sweet little boy until he's not. He is a smart student, which is wonderful. Now we just have to find out the key to his behavior puzzle...which I am absolutely driven to do. I WILL figure out and solve these issues. :)

The rest of my class is filled with students who face their own set of challenges, but are brilliant all the same. They are ALL (including my tantrum student) cute, smart and funny and I look forward to all the things they get to teach me this year.

I hope to blog on a regular basis now that school has started and will be using this avenue more than Facebook to communicate classroom stories.

Thanks for reading!!