Saturday, May 3, 2014

Get Your Tennis Shoes!

   There are moments in my life that I will look back on from time to time where I can remember my exact emotions, feelings and actions. My 10th birthday is one of those times. I can remember opening my last present thinking that I was a lucky girl to have family that loved me enough to celebrate my birthday and give me awesome gifts. When I finally brushed aside the torn wrapping paper to look inside the package I saw a strip of paper with the words, "Look in the back" printed on them. I looked up at my aunt with confusion and excitement because this particular aunt was always up to something. She lead me outside to the back of her vehicle then popped the door open to reveal a brand new pink bike. I jumped. I shrieked. I yelled. That 10th birthday will always be on my list of good moments to look back on.
   There are other important moments that are on my list as well. The moment when I found out my grandfather passed away, forcing me to face death for the first time in my young life. Or the time when I went to the San Fransisco Music Box Company with my aunt to pick out a special gift for my mom because she had just given birth to my baby brother. Instead of finding mom the perfect gift I fixated on a music box that featured Clara and her nutcracker. I can remember just staring at it thinking of the ways I could convince my aunt that this was the gift for my mom because I had to have it. She wound up getting it for me. I still have it. All these moments are mixed with the good and the bad.

  Thursday morning I was able to collect another important moment that will go on my list. I'm a teacher who works in a state where tenure is no longer a thing for new teachers. I began my teaching career last year and that turned out to be rough time for my district. Sadly at the end of the school year instead of packing up my classroom to put it away for the summer months I had to pack it up and move it out into storage because I was let go. After a miserable summer I got a call that there was a position available at my old school. I applied, interviewed and was offered the position of third grade teacher.

    I worked very hard this year to grow and develop my craft. As the school year started drawing closer the end the nerves started eating at me. I didn't want to relive those miserable weeks that I had endured last year. I kept wondering if I be let go again. I questioned if all of my hard worked paid off.  I love teaching so my heart would have broken again if something were to happen and I wouldn't be able to come back to my school next year. With only five weeks left that meant I would find out if I was going to come back very soon.

  On Thursday my AP told me "Get your tennis shoes, you're going to kindergarten." That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to teach kindergarten! Getting official word that not only was coming back, but that I get to teach a grade level I've been wanting to teach since my second internship was one of the best moments ever. My face has had a smile plastered on it since Thursday and I don't think it's going anywhere. Next year cannot come soon enough (Until the end of summer break actually arrives and then I'll wish I had more time with the Baby Monster. Oh life, how fickle you are).

   While I enjoyed my time as second grade and third grade teacher, I know I'm made for kindergarten. I fell in love with it during my second internship. For that internship I taught half a semester in second grade which I really liked. The thought of leaving it for kindergarten kind of scared me because I liked the independence of the second graders and the curriculum. So when I switched second grade for kindergarten I was a bit apprehensive. It only took me about ten minutes of me being in there to fall in love with everything. My mentor teacher was awesome, the students were great and I couldn't believe what they were capable of accomplishing at such a young age. I was simply amazed.

   The second half of the semester flew by because I was enjoying my time teaching so much. When it was time to request my grade level for my final internship I made sure kindergarten was the top of my list. Later in the summer the letter arrived to inform me that I would indeed be placed in a kindergarten classroom for my final internship. I was ecstatic. My experience in my new classroom only confirmed what I knew to be true- I was made to teach kindergarten. I had hoped to get a position in that grade level my first year teaching, but I was offered second grade and I was pretty happy about that. I was chosen out of 200 applicants for that position so I was honored. Plus, I do like second grade! This is why I love teaching. There is something about every grade level that I truly enjoy. Kindergarten just has that special something.

  It has taken me three tries, but finally I get to teach kindergarten again. I cannot wait to work with the wonderful ladies on my team. I worked with them before during my final internship and when I took a long-term substitute job. My Pinterest account is flooded with kindergarten goodness. I'll have to make sure I pin some great looking tennis shoes! I'll need more than the one pair I have. I'm ready!



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