Would it be terribly cliche of me to say "I would really like to start blogging more often"? Yes, yes it would. But, hey! It's the truth!
So for my own memory, here's my update of this year - Year 3:
I am no longer teaching kindergarten AND first grade - math, science, and social studies.
So, this is my first year of teaching regular kindergarten like a normal person! Yippee!
Luckily, it has not really stressed me out much... rephrase... not as much as I thought it would. Language Arts is a HUGE and extremely important portion of early learning, one might say it is THE most important part. Luckily, I'm surrounded by some pretty terrific people who share their knowledge and wisdom.
This group of kiddos is so much different than I could have imagined them to be. Why is it that when we have done something for a year or two we suddenly think we have seen it all??? Why do we do that?? I have been surprised enough times to know to never ever think I've seen or heard it all. Cause just when you do think you've seen it all, God will say, "Oh yeah?" and throw you something totally new. Or a few somethings.
When you experience something new, you can either choose to be totally stressed and freaked out by it, or you can choose to see it as a positive opportunity. Something to add to your resume or list of inspiring (or hilarious) "can you believe this" things.
Luckily, I chose the latter of those two options. Man, that changes everything! Like when you get not one, not two, but MULTIPLE challenging students in your classroom.... turn it into a comedy, not a drama. You cannot fix anything by whining, complaining, or worrying.
Like, oh, just for an example... Say a kid - I don't know - cuts a handle off one of your favorite work bags... Do you get really angry and stew on it for a long time about a problem that is probably very deep in that child or do you use that as a funny story to learn from? Yes, you're angry at the moment, you give appropriate consequences... Then it turns into "oh you dropped a file at your normal person job where there are no children? Let me tell you a really funny story..."
Let's face it - kids are hilarious! They can be troubling, concerning, exhausting, and infuriating (as any job can be) but they are also very entertaining, comedic, and ever-changing variables.
The hardest I have ever laughed is at hearing other teachers' stories.
The world of education is changing in ways that make passionate teachers very wary. It's scary, change. Especially when you have no control over it. As is life. It changes, and we cannot control it.
In my community group, my biggest prayer request at the beginning of the school year (feels like yesterday) was to trust The Lord and know it is all in His loving hands ... and to be okay with that. I have to say, with work, I am becoming okay with that. I'm slowly working on trusting Him with the rest of it, but it's coming along.
Trusting in His plan, joyfully accepting the challenges, and choosing your battles makes a HUGE difference in your day.
This is why I am not full-on CRAZY PERSON right now. Just half-way crazy. :)
This year, I am challenged in more ways than I thought I could handle, but I'm handling.
The students who challenge me behaviorally are less of a challenge now and most are progressing (scissors privileges returned!). The students who were an academic challenge are progressing beautifully - in ways I can hardly believe! And the students who challenge the strength in my heart by what they go through at home, all I can do is love them while they are with me and pray for them when they're not.
I will keep adding more updates about challenges, successes, funny stories, and resources! Promise! .... Kinda...
I think I shall end with what one of my sweet, challenging students tells me at the end of EVERY day (even Mondays):
"Have a nice weekend!"