I sit here today, trying to process the last 10 months of my life. And I can't do it. My cursor is just blinking, mocking me. I've written several times in the past year about some of the experiences I've had in my first year of teaching, but that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
Many people know that the job I have now was never my "dream" job. I added a concentration in special education to make me more marketable, and because I knew I would have to teach students with learning differences. I had no idea that I would be in a job where I am the *expert* and go to girl for certain situations. Kids come down the hall looking for an adult and sometimes I look around too, until I realize that um, I'm the adult. Freaky.
But really, this year has been great. I have been able to experience things that I never thought I would. I have worked with some amazing teachers and I have taught some equally amazing kids. I wanted to tell you a couple stories about them.
My first day, I remember meeting this little fellow. I was absolutely terrified. I could barely understand him...how on earth was I going to teach him? I stared and him and he stared right back. "What have I gotten myself into" I thought. That first day, that child couldn't count to 6. In September, recognized 2 numbers and still couldn't count to 10. I laughed when I saw his goals...adding and subtracting? Yeah right.
But then, something clicked. And he started counting...first to 10, then 14, then 20. Suddenly, he recognized the pattern. Now he can count to 100 (almost completely by himself). He knows that plus sign means put together and subtraction means "ake away." I am astounded.
And then there's this kid. You can read a little about him here. This kid was one of my hardest to get along with at the beginning of the year. He didn't like reading, and he didn't like me....he made that very obvious. He was in my first group of students I saw, so it was just lovely to start my day with him each morning. But then, one day, something changed. And I really don't know what happened, but we began to mesh. We found a common ground and built a relationship. He started caring about his school work. He started listening to me (and liking me!!). After that, his progress sky-rocketed. That showed me how having a relationship with my students isn't just suggested, its necessary.
One time while we were reading about the Titanic, one of my girls stood up and adamantly told me that she knew a song about the Titanic. Of course I was intrigued so I told her to go for it. She cleared her throat and started singing "..I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose, fire away, fire away....Shoot me down, but I won't fall. I AM TITANIUM!!!" And I absolutely lost it. What a great word connection, yet not quite there.
I will greatly miss these kiddos. There were the students who always had stories to tell me. The one who would wrap me up in a hug, yet never listened to a thing I said. There was the one boy who was able to tell me the most obscure facts. The one boy who, every single morning, gave me the cutest toothless grin and said "you gettin me today Miss Wosser?"
The worst part about teaching at a primary school is that my sweet second grade babies move on to the elementary school. I have formed such great relationships with these kiddos and I hate to see them go. I know they are ready though. They will accomplish great things.
So. I survived my first year. My motto this year has been "fake it til you make it". Truly, that's what I did. I took a deep breath, grinned and pretended I knew what I was doing. I'm not exactly sure how I survived this year, but I do know that I couldn't have survived without my co-workers, administration, family, coffee, fiance and Jesus.
Year One: complete
Stay tuned for Year Two. Spoiler Alert: it contains a name change ;)