I think I can say that school is now in full swing – although due to Labor Day holiday and PD days, I have yet to spend five full days in a row with students!
I am happy to announce that I now know all of my 90 students’ names! I teach half of the students in the elementary division of the school, which was a lot to get to know at first, but is definitely a wonderful way to get to know as many students as possible, since I am new to town. You can definitely see connections between siblings this way as well!
I am absolutely LOVING Pre-Kindergarten! I feel like I have truly found my place in the world; a precious gift has truly been dropped into my lap by fate and I am so grateful. My EA is also fantastic and I feel so lucky to have her! She is new to Pre-K as well, but I think we make a great team, and we are learning together (she attended an Intro to Pre-K PD Conference with me last week even!).
I am getting to know all of my (currently) 15 students a lot better, but they continue to surprise me! I don’t expect these surprises to ever stop coming, either!
Here are just a few pictures of what we have been up to lately…
You can see:
-a teddy bear picnic
-a student showing her pre-writing skills (she made pages and pages of her ‘writing’)
-fine motor practice using large beads and shoelaces
-construction and building skills
-making the letter S out of homemade smelly play dough (cinnamon and vanilla – yum!)
-a young artist creating one of her many, many masterpieces
-outdoor block play and cooperation
All through PLAY! 🙂
I just took this one (above) today to document our first time in the gymnasium. I think this picture is absolutely priceless. It’s definitely worth several thousand words, so I will let it speak for itself.
It’s crazy to reflect how my ideal grade level has changed since I began my university degree. I started out thinking I would like to teach Grade 1 in my first years of university. In my third year, I did my pre-internship in Grade 3 and loved it! Then I was placed out of my comfort zone in Kindergarten for my internship, which I also fell in love with and still adore today (I get to teach K Art at the end of every day, which is a great way to end the day). Now, here I am teaching Pre-Kindergarten and I honestly feel like this is what I was meant to do. I would not trade these littles for anything!
Not to mention, I am also teaching Grade 5 and 6, higher than I ever pictured myself teaching, and DEFINITELY out of my comfort zone and area of expertise. I can’t lie, these older grades have definitely taken some getting used to, and are still my biggest struggle and steepest learning curve. But I will admit that I enjoy these students too, although they are VERY different from what I am used to and what I feel my personality is most suited to.
Plus, being the prep teacher who just comes in for a small portion of the day can be a struggle at times because you don’t know the ins and outs of the classroom like their regular teacher. All I can hope for is to make a small difference in these students’ lives! I don’t think I’m totally failing, as there are certain ones in each grade that at least seem excited to see me every day – haha!
In closing, it’s still sinking in that I am going to ‘work’ every day, and for the first few weeks of school, I couldn’t really believe that this was my job I was getting paid for (although this first long-awaited pay cheque sure helped to give a dose of reality – haha!). All I can say is that I am blessed to do the job I do because today I read books, watered plants, made cookies out of play dough, danced with scarves, played with hula hoops, sang and danced, laughed and smiled, ate popcorn, and used puppets to become a chef, astronaut, lizard, and monkey, and THIS IS MY CAREER! Pinch me!
More updates soon! Keep calm and teach on!
-Ms. F. (or as one of my K’s calls me – Miss Penelope! Don’t know where that one came from, but we are rolling with it!)