I have officially wrapped up my 10th year of teaching. It's crazy that I've been in the classroom doing what I love for 10 years. It sure doesn't seem like that. But it's true! How do I know??
Well, I got this 10 year pin from my district....so it must be true!
Don't be jealous of my awesome 10 year award....
So the other night, I was doing what all teachers do late at night...laying in the bed... I was on Pinterest and found this image:
And I thought...what a great idea for teachers at the end of the year! (But I'm not going to that many of each...) So here are some of my real and honest reflections on the school year.
Working with a new population of students! This was my first time working with an almost entirely EL population! And it was AMAZING! 15 of my 18 students were EL and a majority of those Spanish. I also had one Mandarin speaker and one who spoke Arabic. Can I just say how much I loved these kids and their love and respect of school and learning?
Getting a large classroom shaped like a square! My old classroom was tiny and shaped like a W! So this large, bright, open space was amazing!
New technology! I teamed up with Alive Studios to bring augmented reality into my classroom and it was amazing! We used Letters Alive and Math Alive as part of our instruction. Mind blowing stuff!
Growth and progress! Every year I am amazed at the growth and progress I see in my students! But this year it was different. When I think about my students coming into the classroom not knowing letters or how to write their name AND not knowing the language, I am floored to know that we left kindergarten READING AND WRITING! That's a powerful testament to the hard work and perseverance of my 'staches!
The Kindergarten Smorgasboard of course! This blog and my social media pages allows me to keep in touch with teachers all over the world. These teachers inspire me, teach me, and help me be a better teacher and person! And I get to share my passion and love of teaching!
Augmented Reality. Game changer. This new technology brings learning to life in an amazing and hands on way!
Flexible seating. No tables and no desks is a huge game changer every year. It totally transforms the space and the learning. Every classroom should be doing it!
Click the link and the image for blog posts about no tables no desks!
This year I focused on my students and my classroom more. I tried to ignore the "stuff" that surrounds teaching and kept my eye on the prize: the kids. Because really, it's all about them and that "stuff" doesn't matter! Bonding with my students and their families made a tremendous impact on our classroom and what we accomplished this year!
Guided Reading. I really tried to buckle down on our guided reading lessons and tried to protect that time as much as possible. It worked! Our reading scores were great. All but 2 of my students are at grade level.
My transition to a new school was tough. I wasn't accepted and was looked at as the principal's favorite because I was one of a handful of people he brought with him. My methods were questioned and frankly, people didn't like me and they openly admitted that. That's hard. But again, I tried to focus on the students and rise above. And if we're being honest, I could have done more to bridge the divide and work on that relationship. I am pumped for next year and I think it's going to be a great year. I'm going into the school with a fresh attitude and a desire to build relationships with my co-workers so we can make our school THE BEST school in our district!
There were so many things we didn't get to do....space, dinosaurs, missed science experiments...those things always disappoint me.
Vocabulary. I dropped the ball on vocabulary instruction and this is something I want to do better with next year. I'm thinking TPR (total physical response) to teach new words and definitions. I'm thinking lots of vocabulary charts with pictures. This will be focus area next year for my instruction.
And of course, the biggest disappointment in this year was the sudden loss of my mom. I told my families on our last day that I couldn't have made it through the last 2 months without my 'staches. They'll never know how much they helped me this year.
And so my 10th year of teaching saw the hardest year of my personal life but the best year of my teaching career. This group of students pushed me and challenged me and got me through the lowest days of my life. This group will forever be my favorite students ever. I stumbled as a teacher and a person many times, but I got up, dusted off and learned from my mistakes. Next year will be a new and bigger adventure and I am excited to share my journey with you!
THANK YOU for the support and friendship and encouragement and inspiration you give me each day! I am truly blessed by each person who stops by The Kindergarten Smorgasboard! Ya'll make me and the world a better place!