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First Year, Twenty Fifth Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

I think the rest of the school year is going to be composed of wiggly kindergartners who have forgotten how to behave. We did have a birthday this week, and we did celebrate Purim this week, but they were crazy all week long again! Goodness gracious, do they ever get burned out? When in life does that start happening exactly? Because I don't think 23 years old is that old, but I'm telling you, I've been exhausted from their endless energy! And I'm not even sick this time around. Go figure. Not too much excitement this week, but a couple things to note.

We did a really cute writing center craft this week. It was a prompt on what Thing 1 and Thing 2 would do if they came to our houses, and we did an adorable handprint craft that I found on Pinterest.

This one said they would jump on her bed and make feathers go everywhere.  So cute! Incorporated art, writing, and math with the AB pattern they had to color around the border. Not too shabby!

On Tuesday we had a staff meeting. We talked mostly about accreditation again. It was mentioned that we'd be put on committees on the next inservice day and we'd have to work together to come up with action plans for whatever it was that we were assigned to. This accreditation stuff does not sound fun to me. Not excited about our inservice day. Luckily, they said we'd be done by 1pm or so. We also talked about upcoming events at our school like St. Patrick's Day and Wacky Wednesday. Due to that talk, I was getting ready for school on Wednesday, and I looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh no! I'm supposed to dress wacky today." But then I paused and realized it was next week. When I got to school, I got a note from an excused tardy student who had thought the same thing, but had actually done it and come to school that way! Whoops!

On Friday we had a talk about next year's enrollment in our morning devotional. Right now there's 23 kindergartners signed up for next year, and a waiting list for first grade with 28 signed up. If I'm going to teach kindergarten next year, we'll need approximately 20 more kindergartners to sign up. I'm praying for that fervently. I will be returning to school to clear my five year credential next year, but I have to be teaching simultaneously. And I would really rather teach a grade that I have taught before while I'm working through school. It's not an ideal situation to teach and go to college at the same time. It's a lot of work. If approximately 10 more first graders are added to the waiting list, then they'll need another first grade teacher, and I'd be the first to be moved since I'm the only teacher that is currently teaching a second class due to large enrollment for that grade. I haven't been worried about having a job next year, I'm confident God will provide it because He told me last summer that I was going to have a busy next two years, and had me think about my start in my teaching career. I had a vision of a busy first year trying to get my bearings and a busy second year trying to clear my credential. The only thing I'm really apprehensive about is what grade I'll be teaching. It will be so much easier for me to deal with returning to school and helping with accreditation committees as is expected of me if I'm teaching the grade I'm familiar with--the grade I've proved to myself that I can survive already.

This week I taught my kids about Purim. I made Esther puppets out of construction paper while they were resting to make the story more interesting, and printed out a dramatic reading of it offline. The kids liked it, and all but one of them enjoyed the Hamentaschen that I made with apricot filling. It's fun to bring in my Jewish heritage with my students. It's nice to have heritage that goes along with Bible class. Haha.

We also had another lockdown drill this week. It was unfortunately called right when the kids were running outside for recess. I had to yell at them to come back inside and sit against the wall while I furiously did a mental count of whether or not they all made it back inside. It took a while for it to be over, and by the time it was, they only  had two minutes to run around outside. You can imagine how crazy they were the rest of the day. It was nuts. It was also a day that I was having to play catch-up on centers because we missed a day due to not getting enough done earlier in the week, so I had 7 kids in my writing center that I was trying to get hands painted and words spelled for their writing.

The only other thing that happened that's worth mentioning is we found a song to teach the kids in our ASL 2 club next month. It's really good; I'm excited for that part. I'm a little concerned if there's going to be a conflict with my theatre rehearsal schedule if I decided to audition for a play. I'm not really wanting to have that conversation with the teacher whom I said I would help teach this club with. I also discovered that there's an all-school talent show at the end of the year. I don't remember hearing about this before. But the other two teachers of this club want the three of us to perform something in ASL for the talent show. Interesting.

Exhausting week, but there's only 12 more weeks of school! I'm so excited for summer vacation. Haha, this has been a crazy, busy, eventful year.