Yesterday, no less than five people stopped me in the hall to ask me that fateful question: "Miss Brave, do you know what you're doing next year?"
It was a loaded question, and not just because I've been thinking about leaving the school system altogether (something I haven't shared with anyone at my school). My school isn't keeping my writing program next year, and so besides the possibility that I might get excessed, I was headed for a change no matter what. I applied for a literacy AIS position and listed my top three grade preferences: first grade, kindergarten, second grade.
This morning the principal called me into her office and gave me the news: In the fall of 2008, if I decide to stay at my school, I will be a kindergarten teacher.
On the one hand, this is good news; I did not want to teach an upper grade. On the other hand, I had privately decided that if I was given an upper grade, I would definitely be leaving, and so now I'm just more confused than ever about whether to stay or go. Out of all the grades I teach -- and I teach K-5, so that's six different grade levels -- kindergarten is my favorite. In fact, I almost got my Early Childhood teaching license rather than an Elementary one but I didn't want to limit myself in terms of job marketability.
News travels fast at my school; everyone was buzzing with gossip today about who's moving where, and all of a sudden I was more popular than I've ever been. And slowly my head started filling with visions of Miss Brave's classroom and Miss Brave's kindergarteners, with their clean slates and their moldable little minds.
I wouldn't be starting over entirely. I certainly have a better grasp on behavior management than I did at the beginning of the year, my writing curriculum would be totally kick-ass, and I have the TC model down pat. But in another sense, having my own classroom would be like going through my first year of teaching all over again. Am I ready for that?
My preference choices for next year were also 1, K, 2 (not ESL). They were the same last year two but I got ESL anyway. Anyway, after three years teaching ESL I would love to have my own class. Yes it would be like starting all over in some ways (and at least for me, I'd be giving up a pretty cushy position) but in other ways you'd be starting your first year as a classroom teacher with lots of knowledge and experience under your belt.
Good luck in whatever you choose. I'm really hoping I get a class this year. It probably won't be 1st since those two teachers aren't moving so maybe we will both be starting out as Kindergarten teachers next year! I'll keep you posted.
I think it is a great opportunity! I am a year out too and teaching year 5/6 full time. In a way I wish I had started young!
Th pluses (behavior management, writing curriculum) seem like big pluses. It sounds like you're ready to have your own classroom, if you decide to do it.
I post tons of writing and reading lessons. I also post a ton of kinder writing and kinder reading lessons on my site. I know you are not quite in this mode yet, but when you are... visit and I am willing to share. Good Luck with your decision. Teaching one group of kids is easier than teaching everyone elses.... www.debrennersmith.com
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