10 years ago I began my career as a special education teacher. My hiring principal at the time took a chance on a rookie teacher with no teaching experience. I spent the first nine years of my career at the high school level in a rapidly growing district in SW Minnesota. It was a great place to be. There were things I experienced that I am I never imagined I’d be a part of. Never in a million years did I think I would close out the first decade of my teaching career not only switching districts and schools, but switching grade levels. An opportunity presented itself and I made the decision to go from the high school level to the elementary level. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. Once again, my principal is taking a chance on me.
There are the obvious differences-such as height, the number of teachers I will work with and schedule. And then there appear to be no differences such as educational needs. Many people wonder how I am going to adjust to the switch. I saw about the only major difference is my new students will be shorter then me. In reality, there are few differences from my old students to my new students. I am still working on reading, writing and math. My goal to to work on organization such as using an assignment notebook and keeping track of assignments. I want my students to know they don’t have to go through school hating it, but rather finding what they enjoy about it.
My biggest advantage as I see it is I have the high school experience. I know where I would like to see my students and can help them start on the journey. I will be primarily working with 3rd and 4th graders which means I will be involved with my 4th graders transitioning to the middle school. It is my hope and goal to begin the discussion as 4th graders of what their hopes and dreams are. In doing this I am hoping to help students understand their disability and use it to help them achieve their hopes and dreams.
I am also a firm believer in being in the right place. This is my Facebook post from August 28th-“The moment when you realize it is true-everything happens for a reason and you end up where you are supposed to be. It’s a great feeling.” It was the second day of teacher workshop in my new district. I have a wonderful opportunity to look at doing what is best for kids and if it means taking chances I know I will be supported.
It is the final night before we head back to school here in Minnesota. As usual I have the first day jitters, but there seems to be something more. It is similar to the feeling I had when I first started my teaching career. I am meeting new students and parents for the first time. We are a team and I want them to know that I want to do what is best for their student. It is with great excitement and anticipation I look forward to the 2015-2016 school year.
Here we go……