It’s hard to believe that I’m weeks away from completing my seventh year of teaching. SEVEN years! In all honesty, I was sure that I’d end up being a statistic and not make it past the five year mark. Surely I would have 'retired' by then. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the job, I had just created my own timeline about the marriage and family thing. Funny how the way things are turning out is WAY better than any timeline or plan I could have made for myself.
My first year of teaching was kindergarten at Provost Elementary in Provo. Man, I loved those kids. Who knew I would love singing songs and hanging out on the carpet so much? Exhausting, but so much fun. Then I came to California and have taught third grade for the past six years. It’s been the best experience. Third graders, especially the group I have this year, are the best.
There are so many great moments like when a girl in my class last week was paining an Indian mask and out of nowhere said, “I love this! I feel just like Bob Ross!” I’m pretty sure Bob Ross was more of a ‘happy cloud’ painter than a Native American mask kind of guy, but it just made me smile. Admittedly, I was a little disheartened that the other kids had no idea who she was talking about, but it was still one of those fun moments that come along when you spend your day with kids.
Last week I received word from my principal that I’ve been assigned to teach fifth grade next year. What a shock. This was definitely not a part of my timeline or personal blueprint. (Oh wait, I’m not really in charge, am I?) I have to admit it’s been frustrating coming to terms with going from 20 students to a class of 34 larger and smellier ones and dealing with every new piece of curriculum. There have been some definite struggles to find any kind of silver lining around this storm cloud. I really enjoyed being ‘held back’ in third grade every year. I was becoming an expert at teaching some of this stuff!
But, I think after a week, I’m coming to terms with it now. O.k., maybe that’s not entirely true, but I’m getting there. To go from kindergarten to third and now fifth must be a good sign. Maybe someday I’ll get to graduate from teaching and move on to another ‘school’ of learning! :-)