Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5th Grade

If I was going to teach 5th grade:

I would spend much of the previous June considering the next year's motto/theme, choosing something that hit that perfect combination of wit, motivation, and connection to my personal interests.  If possible, it would also tie into my core curriculum, and in the best of all worlds would be a quote from an author whose work my students would be studying.

I'd put my marketing degree to work, using the time spent in the dentist's chair, at the organ bench, and in the bathtub to mentally lay out coordinated bulletin boards, newsletters, and recognition notes that corresponded with my carefully selected theme.

I'd jot down notes about policies and procedures in my phone.  I'd mentally pen my introductory letter at stoplights.  I'd consider visual and verbal signals, memorizing the decisions I made as I slowly eliminated viable possibilities.

I would plan my classroom.  Where to put the red pencils.  How to organize my desk.  Which side of the bulletin board would house the daily schedule.

I'd buy a physical grade and planning book.  I'd check out as many materials as the school would allow and start mapping curriculum, first by month and then by week.

I would remain indecisive, despite hours of consideration, on the best way to pass back papers, keep up with missing and late work, and encourage my students to take responsibility for themselves.

I would finally arrive at the teacher inservice dates, pen in hand with a list of questions and to-do's ready to cross off.  I'd be equal parts excitement and determination to conquer the world.

I would defeat my insecurities with preparation.

Well -

I would do ALL of those things if I found out in June.

If, instead, I showed up late to the first day of inservice and found out on the lunch break that I would be assigned to a 5th grade classroom (team-teaching with a new teacher who will take over in the afternoons when I leave to teach music), I would approach it a bit differently.

I would panic.

I would have a migraine by 2 pm.

I would regroup and start making lists.

I would get to know my new team-teacher.

I would make more lists.

And then I would go home to consider a motto/theme, throwing all previous requirements out the window and hoping to come up with something unifying for a class who gets to split their instructional time between two teachers.

I would re-evaluate what are the most important elements of a successful classroom and start there.

I would ask my husband for a blessing so I could have some divine guidance in making decisions far faster than accustomed.

I would count my lucky stars that I get to teach three of my favorite subjects: grammar, writing, and math.

I would feel incredibly blessed to get to continue to teach some of the wonderful students that I student taught at the end of last year.

I would take the huge compliment of being entrusted with 26-ish students only a week before school starts.

I would take meds for the migraine and try to get some sleep.

And I would go at it tomorrow with equal parts excitement and determination to conquer the world.

Perhaps there's still time to mask my insecurities with preparation?

Because guess what...

I'm now a 5th grade teacher.


Kris said...

Exciting! I did some regular ed teaching back in the day (I got a double bachelors) and enjoyed it (my hearts in special ed though).

I'd be curious to hear how you like team-teaching. I did it as part of my student teaching and actually hated it. I'd much rather run the whole classroom but that's just me.

Good luck! You'll do a great job!

Miss Megan said...

I agree with Kris: That is so exciting!

If anyone can pull it off, you can. You are one of the most organized, together, focused, and fun people I've even had the pleasure to work with, and I have no doubt you'll take all of that in to the class with you. Good luck! Keep us all posted!