Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tribute to 3rd

I wasn't "ready" to write about my end of the year; however, better late than never.
In memory of teaching 3rd grade, specifically the 23 little ones who blessed me beyond measure during the 2014-2015 school year.  

I began to gather my stuff. 

Pick up my bags. 

I was caught in the routine of getting my things, turning around, and walking out the door.  But it wasn't like that today.

It dawned on me - I was leaving. I am leaving. 


It would be my last time in such a large classroom.  My last time being titled a 3rd grade teacher.  My last time surrounded my the four walls that were home to each subject I taught, filled with data, books, anchor charts, words, numbers, pictures, memories, and love.  

April-ish .. when we got a SMART Board!
I HAD to rearrange the room to accommodate. :)

what was the start of our classroom library ... 
only we gained a FULL bookshelf a few months into school.

 supply cabinet for kids ... pre-2014-2015, pre - putting on Amy Groesbeck's Supply Bin Labels!

Narrative Writing - my favorite memory of writing with my students. :)
The few weeks where, I learned for myself, what powerful writing voices my students have.

I'm happy. I'm content. After all, I had a wonderful year. Maybe the best year I will ever has as a teacher. I had the best group of 23 little 3rd graders. They worked collaboratively; they were so well discipled with the substitutes after all the days I was out of the classroom for workshops, professional development, various illnesses, and other things.  I usually came back to a clean classroom and a positive note from the sub.  My kids were always so helpful, so polite, so patient with each other.  We were with each other all day, every day unlike their peers who switched teachers and classrooms for Science/Math and ELA/Social Studies.  It was a joy to be their teacher.

 Using the document camera to display and discuss student work. 

What a student told me one time during our literacy block.
What a joy to hear them discover it for themselves!

The *best* 3rd grade experience EVER! #crayfish

Memorial Day Crafts! which I won't have the pleasure of doing with big kids. :(
Courtesy of Teach from the heART


Reality had settled, though, as I gathered my stuff ready to turn around for the door. Someone - another teacher - was moving into my room. It wasn't my room anymore. But I wasn't moving my stuff upstairs to the 6th grade room I was supposed to fill. I had moved out. Spent a week packing my books, binders, bookshelves, paper, supplies, crayons, scissors, charts, paper clips, clothespins, cloth borders all into boxes that were filled with the solemness I had leaving my home away from home for the last two years.  I didn't lug 1,000+ books home to level over the summer; I brought them home because they're mine.  They wouldn't be filling my book bins and book shelves for little 3rd graders.  Rather, they may be left to sit in my house for a little bit. 8th graders won't want to read Amelia Bedelia or Magic Tree House or The Day The Crayons Quit

It was a long 2 years. All too quick. I expected to be rolled out of my district when I was 120-years-old after teaching all the grade levels. So much had happened to me during my time with my district.  I was featured in a magazine as Teacher of the Month; my room was used for Writer's Workshop; I hosted a Literacy Night for parents.  I  L*O*V*E*D where I was and why I was there.  I had a great administrative team.  They were cohesive, knowledgeable, patient; the kid of team that's hard to come by, and for my time with them, I am extremely grateful as their influence has caused me to reflect on the kind of teacher and leader I aspire to be.

I know that I'm moving on to experience more - experience a variety of backgrounds, grade levels, ages, situations, a new way to adhere to of how the school is run.  But teaching 8th grade in a middle school?! That means bigger kids. They probably won't come back from lunch to report who spilled whose milk. No more crafts.  Will it be harder to make them laugh? Will they love reading as much as I do?

Yet, it can also turn out to be an amazing experience.  More than I ever thought it could be.  And I will choose to cling to that.  I'm ecstatic to be reading novels, holding discussions, more creativity and lesson flexibility, and a new way of communicating. It will be quite an adjustment, but I look forward to the rewards of graduation, yearbook, and looking at my students in May thinking "they're basically FRESHMAN now!"


Sarah Smith said...

WOW...what a change--from 3rd to 8th grade. Thanks for sharing your post. I am sure it was very hard to say goodbye. It's always hard to say goodbye for the summer, so I can't imagine how you are feeling. It does seem like you have such a great attitude about it though! Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your upcoming year!

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