Hello my lovely people,
I am completely new to the blogging community and have to admit a little bit nervous to learn the logistics of blogging, but super excited to join this community of amazing teachers willing to share their ideas, lessons, and experiences in the classroom. My obsession with pinterest (definitely should follow me as I have a pinning problem) has led me to quality teacher blogs that have opened my mind to “getting myself out there”.
This year will be my 8th year teaching elementary school (crazy!). I taught first grade for three years and then shot right up to my “home”– fifth grade. It was a crazy jump, yes, but looking back I wouldn’t change anything. Prior to getting my first job, I would have NEVER, EVER put myself in a first grade classroom! NEVER! My experience with kids had always been with 10-14 year olds. What in the world would I do in a primary classroom? Throughout my entire credential program, the words “I want to teach kids to love to read. I do NOT want to teach kids HOW to read,” came out of my mouth often. That would just be way too difficult! Yikes!
And then, it happened. Sitting across from the principal of the school where I was so desperately trying to get hired, he asked me the loaded question. So, what grade would you prefer? My answer, the typical “please hire me” answer: Oh, I love all aged children and can honestly say that I don’t really have a preference. And with that, my fate was sealed. I was the new first grade teacher. Ahhhhhhhhh!
I am now a fifth grade teacher, but can confidently say that I would not be the teacher I am today without my primary experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn about reading and writing development, phonics, phonemic awareness, blends, digraphs, reading groups, etc. These are things upper grade teachers rarely touch and, I believe, puts them at a disadvantage.
All teachers need to understand and possess the skills to implement quality reading/writing instruction complete with guided reading groups and writing conferences. Too many upper grade teachers leave these crucial elements out of their instruction and as a result, students suffer. Unfortunately, it’s not the fault of the teacher. If you never receive the training, there’s no way teachers can be expected to structure their classroom this way.
I will always praise primary teachers. I understand the amount of prep that goes into the workday and the level of expertise in regards to literacy that is required for success. I have taken all those lessons with me to my fifth grade classroom. My main goals as a teacher are to promote literacy at all costs, to develop my students’ critical thinking skills, and to not only celebrate the unique gifts of all my kids, but to help each student recognize in themselves the gifts and talents I see everyday.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. If it gives you any source of inspiration or even just one new resource, I will be proud. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.