Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Made it to the End of the Year (Obviously)...and Y'all Helped!

I love this commercial!  I think it's the strong Southern accents of the kids that I truly love.  When I thought about this post, all I kept hearing was, "Mom made Shayyke n Bayyke, and weee heyulped!".  So, I had to find this commercial, just in case you had no idea what I was talking about.  I know I pretty much aged myself there, but it was worth it to share this cute commercial!
The interesting thing is that I was thinking of this post way before the school year was done.  The idea came from Hilary at Rockin' Teacher Materials. She has a great blog and the post that brought this to mind is here.  You should definitely check it out!  You should also check out her stores, she has the neatest Math Mysteries that I love, and my students also loved!!  And if you look closely you will see how long I have been thinking about this post....since March, but never got around to it...until now. :)
This time last summer was very difficult for me.  I had just ended my 15th year of teaching 3rd grade.  I love teaching...and I LOVE teaching 3rd grade!  I eat, breathe, sleep, and bleed teaching!!  But because of decreasing enrollment, and since there were only going to be 2 students in the 3rd grade, and because the secretary had given her notice that she would no longer be working with us, I was told (in front of the 1st and 2nd grade teacher and the 4th grade teacher), that my job position was going to change for the 2011-2012 school year.  My heart dropped in that meeting, and I struggled with even knowing what to say.  The administrator didn't want to have to get rid of any other teachers (he had to let the 1st grade teacher go the year before).  So, this was the best plan they could think of.  I was going to be the school secretary, but would teach two 3rd grade classes, to the two students I would have, and the 4th grade teacher would have a combined 3rd and 4th grade class.  Everyone kept saying that this was great, and at least I would get to keep my job, and I know that is so true, but this was just so unexpected.  I was hurt because I think the decision may have just been made as a quick fix.  I had been at the school 15 years, and the 4th grade teacher had only been here about 5 years maybe, and had only been teaching about 7 or 8 years.  Since we are a small Christian school, the number of students does make a difference as to whether they can keep a teacher and afford to pay.  Two students does not bring in enough to pay a teacher for the year, which is why I was going to help in the office.  This way they wouldn't have to pay another secretary.  So, I spent the summer reluctantly training with the secretary before she left.  There was another lady from my church who also started training because she was interested in helping at the school, so she was going to man the office for the couple of hours I would be teaching.  I tried and tried, but just couldn't muster up any excitement for the upcoming year, but I would try to my best to do a good job where I was placed.  I spent much of the summer in tears.  I was not looking forward to the school year at all for the first time in 15 years.  I sound like a spoiled brat, crybaby, I know, but it really affected me to not be able to be who I felt called to heart's desire.  As the school year started, I somehow put on my smile and tried to make the best of things.  The other lady who was going to help when I started teaching was asked to come in a little before 9 when I would start teaching.  Then she was asked to come in by 7:30, just in case I couldn't make it in at that time because of taking care of my mom at home.  So we were both there and trying to both keep busy and not get in each other's way, but there was only one desk, and one computer, etc.  So it got a little awkward.  Then halfway through the first quarter my administrator called me in to tell me my schedule was going to change, he now wanted me to teach four 3rd grade classes (Arithmetic, Reading, Language, and Spelling), then wanted me to help out with 9th grade keyboarding, and help out in the business office, and to do 5th and 6th grade handbells.  So, I found out they were weeding me out of the office.  I was so glad, but annoyed that it was part way through the quarter, that I had finally gotten settled in and then things were changing on me again.  Plus, one of my two students didn't really enjoy being in my classroom.  He would often say things that would break my heart.  It's very difficult to only have two students to teach.  I felt more like a glorified tutor than a teacher.  I felt lost in the one place that I loved so much!  How do I motivate two students, especially when one hates Language and the other hates Arithmetic?  We can't play all of the fun games that I would normally play, or do some of the fun motivation moves that I normally do with a full class.   I was feeling very defeated and lost....UNTIL...somehow this Christmas break I happened upon teacher blogs.  I already had a blog, but didn't do a whole lot of searching of other blogs, so I'm not sure how I even happened upon teacher blogs.  But, I'm so glad I did!!!!  You have had such a strong impact in helping me to find my love for teaching again, you inspired me, you made me want to be better and do more, two students or not.  You challenged me to not settle, you challenged me to change my thinking, you challenged me to be more creative, to not just do things the way I've always done them, to find new ideas, and keep two students engaged and loving 3rd grade even if there were only two of them.  So the year ended with me in a much better mindset, with my students telling me they liked 3rd grade and liked me, and having fun.  I am truly grateful for the new perspective I gained!  Next year should be somewhat back to normal, except that I'm supposed to have the combined 3rd and 4th grade class, and the 4th grade teacher will be doing what I did this past year.  I'm actually looking forward to the new school year, and look forward to learning more from you and sharing more with you!  So...I made it to the summer....and boy did y'all heyulp!!!  Not only are you amazing teachers for your students, but you are inspirations for other teachers as well!  Thank you!
Had to steal this because I just love it so much!  You're my super heroes!
You still have time to enter my $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!!!   :)
If any of you have had similar experiences with teacher blogs, please share, I would love to hear them!!



Wow! What a frustrating situation that must have been. I mean, it's wonderful to have them still find a way for you to stay, but it must have been hard. I'm glad you'll have a real class this year! :)

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad


I feel the same way about blogging. It was just the shot in the arm that I needed :)

Fun in Room 4B


Yes, Jenny, it was tough and I really struggled, but through that I found all of your wonderful blogs, so for that I'm truly thankful!! I am so excited to get back to somewhat normal. :)


That's exactly it, Elizabeth!! So good to know others can understand and relate! Another reason I love blogging!!! :)

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