Life update-What’s been going on with me professionally?

by becky on December 29, 2017

Hello Blogland,

I can’t believe I’m FINALLY blogging. Let’s just say, things have been crazy for oh, you know, several… years. lol

But, since this is a teaching blog, I’m 100% sure you all understand. The world of education has drastically changed and no one is exempt from feeling those changes. If your past few years have been anything like mine, you’ve been hoping to find your “teacher self” within all the new mandates and expectations. But, luckily, I feel like I’ve finally found myself again and I’m able to teach (mostly-well, a little bit) like I know is best for my students.

Let’s travel down memory lane, shall we… 

In 2014, after 11 years of teaching 4th grade at the same school I attended as a child, I took a risk and changed buildings and grade levels. I did love 4th grade and my school but I was starting to feel antsy and I worried that if I never took a chance I might regret staying safe and not branching out. So, I applied and was offered a 2nd grade challenge position in a school down the street from my first school. I was so excited to be a 2nd grade teacher. I was so excited to teach challenge-an accelerated program. But, somehow it wasn’t the right “fit” for me. I worked with amazing people, and I was supported 100% by my administration but I just felt wrong. I can’t explain it. But, about half way through the school year, I just knew I needed a different change. Immediately, I worried about the comments people would make… you know the kind I mean. But, ultimately, I did the scariest thing I could, I decided to change grades/buildings–again.

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In 2015, I moved to a different building and began teaching 3rd grade. I realized the very first week that as much as the thought of being a 2nd grade teacher was always something I thought I had wanted, I am an intermediate teacher. It’s just who I am and who I’m meant to be. Even though 3rd grade can be considered both primary and/or intermediate, I knew I liked the older elementary grades. I liked the age, the curriculum, and the pace soo much better. However, as much as I LOVED my new set of co-workers and teaching 3rd grade, I had an unfortunately scary year of teaching. I wanted to give it a longer chance, but deep down (again) I knew this wasn’t my “home.” So, once again, I packed my classroom up and said a lot of sad good-byes.

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I loved this room– it was so bright and cheerful. I had a HUGE window that  I miss very much! 😉

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Then, in 2016, 72 hours before the school year began, my good friend Steven whom I had taught 4th grade with back at my first school, told me about an opening at his current school. It was 4th grade. I unofficially  met with the school principal and I knew I had to take this chance. The next few days were a blur but I knew that even though my classroom was NOT ready, my boxes were NOT all unpacked, my bulletin boards were EMPTY, I was meant to be in this school teaching 4th grade again.

This is what 12 hours of set up looks like…

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It only looked like this for a few more days-2 weeks tops.  Click here to see how it looked for Parent Night

It actually makes me emotional to talk/type about it because I had felt so “lost” for years and I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone time and time again without knowing if it would ever pay off. Well, last year the 2016-2017 school year was hands-down, the BEST school year I’ve ever had. My new school is my new home and I felt like me again. I found fun in teaching and was reminded of why I became a teacher in the first place. I worry that had I not been gifted with last year’s experience, I might have left the profession altogether. Which, as we know, happens all too often now. I know it seems crazy that I made all those changes just to go back to 4th grade, but I look at it as now I never have to wonder. I know I’m meant to teach 4th grade. It’s my happy place and where I will be until something out of my control changes.

And  just for fun… here is an evolution of the SAME bulletin board, just different grades. lol

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Final thoughts: My biggest take away from the past few years is that you don’t grow unless you scare yourself. Change is TOUGH, but worth it. I have met sooo many people throughout my “journey” and I love that every single time I go to a district training I always see people I have taught with. Some of my best friends have come from this journey and if nothing else, I did all this to meet them and have them in my life.

I’ve learned it pays to branch out because you increase your knowledge and your network. My classroom management is a lot stronger, my ability to not overthink everything has improved, and I can appreciate what I have now and where I’m working. All I experienced–the good, bad, ugly, and sad have molded me to be a better teacher and person than I was when I started. I will never forget that.

Well, that’s my professional update in a nutshell. 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll update you on my personal life.

Have a great day! Thanks for coming back to read about my professional journey.

Becky 🙂

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Hall December 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Welcome back! I spent 19 years in third grade, the next three years in fourth and then moved to teach fifth grade math and science for three years. I would never go down!!!

This year I took a big leap and became the grade five engineering and technology teacher. I even had to get a new certification and was given one year to pass the test. I can relate to stepping out of our comfort zone.

I loved all your blogs!!!!
Happy New Year

Reply

becky January 1, 2018 at 5:48 am

Hi Kelly,
Wow! You really DO understand taking risks! Good for you-it’s good for the soul. Thank you SO much for taking some time out of your day to read blog and leave me a comment. I’m going to jump over to your blog right now. 🙂

Happy New Year to you as well!
Becky 🙂

Reply

NEHA October 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Reply

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