An Honest Reflection From a First-Year Teacher: Quarter 3

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love my job. I love my little school. I love my colleagues and administration. And I even love my challenging 5th graders.

Over the past quarter I have been trying to implement different practices from my many professional development opportunities. I had my 5th graders do a “Problem Solving Boot Camp”, to explore a problem-solving approach to math. This week-long mini unit really did help my girls improve their problem solving abilities and made them more confident in the fact that they can do challenging problems! I also attended an Arts Integration and STEAM conference, so I have been trying to integrate the arts into my math classes as well. My 4th graders made “Angle Art” and absolutely loved it!


With that, I have decided to pursue an Arts Integration Specialist Certification. I was already accepted into a program for this certification, and after a lot of consideration, have chosen to do it. My coursework won’t officially begin until July, but by this time next year I should be nearly completed with the program. It is a little scary to think that I will be taking classes while teaching (can you say stress?), but I know it will be worth it to have an extra certification that can help me in the long run. My administration has been incredibly supportive of this decision, which I am truly grateful for.

I have yet to sign the contract for next year, but I do plan on sticking around -not only in Hawaii, but here at my little school. I have decided that I do hope to stick with the 4th and 5th graders, because I will already have built a rapport with next year’s 5th graders. Plus, I will be a pro at the curriculum so I will be able to really improve my practice. Of course, there is a lot that I hope to change for next year, but that is what summer break will be for!

It’s crazy to think that we only have 8 short weeks of school left! Where has the time gone?!


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