Monday, July 27, 2009

new line of work

I'm making a transition. It will be over the next year. Or it might be in the next week. I'm not totally sure how it's going to go. I just know I'm excited about doing it. After five years as a classroom teacher in third grade class and five years in a multiage (1st/2nd grade) before that, I get to be a literacy teacher (and student). I'll co-teach in a second grade class during our language arts block, plying my best practices while spending part of the school day learning about literacy, teachers, students, how they both learn, how I can effectively coach them forward and along with that, I'll get some coaching of my own.

Last week I realized this meant I wouldn't get to sit in the middle of my room the week before school pondering the space as I visualized where students were going to do all their amazing work. I thought about the possibility of not making home visits for the first time since 1980. I wondered if I'd still get to interact with parents. I was pretty sure I would no longer have "Pancake Day" every 20 days of school. I would miss teaching about the life cycle of a butterfly, the diversity of the Ancient Roman Empire and how to read and write numbers in Base Three. I wasn't going to be putting hundreds of beautiful new crayons, pencils, and markers in color coded bins on color coded tables. I wasn't going to alphabetize and number cubbies, name cards or materials. I had no excuse to get Sharpies.

Today though, was a new day. I'm pretty sure I got beyond last week. I thought about getting to work with grades I love (2nd and 3rd) and teachers who are gifted. I quickly decided spending a week pondering space for 20 students only to find I had too much furniture was overrated. Today I pondered space in my co-teacher's room for reading and writing workshop and it only took 20 minutes! I had my few office supplies to organize, no color coding necessary and I'd done most of that last year. I realized I could still integrate an ancient culture (Mali) with language arts. And most importantly I realized I still get to work with kids!

Now I just have to figure out how to integrate pancakes into Word Study.

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