An Honest Reflection from a First-Year Teacher: Quarter 2

Well, well, well, here we are halfway through the 2017-2018 school year! Honestly it has flown by so quickly! Here are my thoughts, feelings, and reflections from this year so far:

  1. I love teaching.  I love coming to school everyday.  I love being in my classroom, and sharing my classroom with 30 crazy girls.  I love the school I work at, especially how small it is, which makes it close-knit.  I’ve known that I wanted to be a teacher since I was in 2nd grade.  And I know now that despite to politics involved, and how micro-managed the teaching profession is, it is still the best profession for me.
  2. I still prefer 4th grade over 5th.  No surprise here, I still am enjoying my 4th graders a little more than my 5th graders.  But, I think it’s because I have had the chance to build a better relationship with my 4th graders as their homeroom teacher.  I also like the 4th grade curriculum more than the 5th, but that’s not something I can control at this point.
  3. I finally have everything down pretty well.  I am comfortable with the set-up of our math curriculum, and know when I need to supplement it or not.  I plan a week ahead of time, which helps me stay organized, and keeps parents informed.  I use my prep time very effectively, which also helps me stay on track.
  4. I don’t like group seating.  As an educator I love the idea of group seating.  So for second quarter I put the girls in groups of 4 as their desk arrangement.  the 4th graders did pretty well with it, but my 5th graders were 10x more chatty.  So now, for quarter 3, I’m back to what I can Stadium Seating.
  5. Saying goodbye to a student is rough.  One of my students is moving to another state, and although this move was planned and expected, it was still hard to say goodbye to her.  Her last day was the day before Winter Break and we made a class book for her, but returning to school in January without her is still going to be a strange feeling.
  6. Grading isn’t that difficult. I thought grading would take a lot of time, but with Standards-Based grading done at the semesters, I was able to finish it before leaving for break.  It was a little frustrating to have a new registrar, who didn’t give us access to our grading until about a week before break, but I made it work.  I made sure to collect a lot of artifacts of student work throughout the semester and place them in a file folder.  This made my grading process even easier.  I could just look in that students file for test scores, samples of work, etc.

All in all, I think the first half of my first year has gone pretty well.  There were days when I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I think that just comes with the territory.   I have much more good days than bad, and I’m respected by my students, colleagues, and parents, so I can’t complain too much.

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