Wow. So apparently in Year 2 you have a lot more time, except most of that time is now dedicated to me and doing things that I want to do. It is really nice to have more of a work-life balance this year, and be able to venture out and do more things that I enjoy and even have friends that aren’t teachers!
Teaching this year is much more difficult than it was last year, my kids are more difficult, troubled and a lot lower than my students last year, so we are still working on some really basic concepts in reading. I have students who still do not have even half of their letter sounds learned, but then I have a few who are reading on a second grade level. YIKES. It seems so much more difficult to do anything this year because my kids are so spread apart in what they know and need from me, but we are powering through. There are little gains that happen each day though.. my lowest student in the class spelled the word one the other day and I really almost fell out of my chair. He came back from Thanksgiving break and his little mind had processed so many letter sounds and even a few sight words that it just made me smile, I’m not sure it is going to be enough to get him to pass the Exit Exam, but it is good to know that I he is making gains, even if they are small and come only once every month or so.
My students this year are also just as funny as my kids from last year. The things that they say and do just keep me and my wonderful assistant laughing and laughing. It really helps to get through the day. When I am frustrated with one child and another one says a funny one liner, it really reminds me that these are just kids and they don’t always intend on doing things wrong, but it just happens because they are still learning how to be humans.
In the world of not teaching, I have begun to train for a half marathon! I am running the Mississippi River Half Marathon (except I’m running the half) on February 9th. The proceeds of the race are going to Teach For America and I’m so excited to be running as a part of Team TFA. Training has been going well, except for a few setbacks here and there, but yesterday I logged my longest run of 8 miles! If you feel ever so generous this holiday season and would like to donate to TFA to help Delta kids receive a great education you may donate ANY amount at http://teachforamerica.fundly.com/1t3io31v — I would be forever appreciative and so would some really cute Delta kids
I also have begun to volunteering at a great after school arts program and helping to teach ballet. It has been such a great experience getting to know the high school students and seeing what the achievement gap looks like at the high school level. It is very eye opening to see what exactly can happen to my students if we do not invest them in their education at such a young age, and set them on a path to a successful education career.
Our Elf on the Shelf (Petey) has made his appearance in our classroom! The kids this year weren’t quite as on board with him at first, but when we came back from lunch and he had escaped from his box and onto the overhead, they were sold… and then tragedy struck.. One of my students touched Petey’s box and the box disappeared and Petey didn’t move all day from his place on the top of the speaker — and then on Friday he had disappeared. I told the kids to send up some prayers and maybe Petey would return on Monday. We shall see when he makes his return.