Now, normally one would start blogging at the beginning of a new experience; I, however, am not normal (why do you think I teach kindergarten?). Like many, I often wish to start something, half start it, maybe get back to it 6 months later, only to abandon it again. But now, here I am, starting the blog I had intended to start back in August, the blog that I wish I had started, for many reasons. One being the reason I am actually, finally, starting this one- I need to write things down in order to remember. I want to write things down to capture the moments that I will forever cherish. I’m crushed to think that all of the silliness, hardships, heartbreaks, and successes that surrounded me this year will have to rely on my memory rather than words (I wish) I had written down when they were spoken or thoughts and emotions that were written down when they were expressed.
I’m in my final 2 weeks of my first year of teaching. It’s almost impossible to believe, but looking back, it’s absolutely time for my kinders to become first graders. They have grown tremendously throughout the past 9 months and I am so incredibly proud of them (and kudos to myself, too ;)). I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with happiness when I look back on a piece of writing they did for me in October (which, for most, was just a bunch of scribbles, maybe a letter here and there, and little to no structure or color to a picture) and compare it to the writing they are doing for me now (which consist of 3+ sentences that are legible and pictures that not only look great, but that also depict the writing they have done). Most can now count to at least 100, if not higher, and they are adding and subtracting within 10 (some beyond). They came in not knowing how to read, and almost all of them can read a simple pattern book now- most reading more than that.
I feel proud of not only them, but myself as well. I always thought I had it in me- but I never really knew until now. With the help and support of my mentors and colleagues, I was able to confidently make my way through an exciting, fun, and challenging first year of teaching. It’s an unexplainable feeling of pure happiness and pride. I successfully led my students to a point in their academic and social behavior that they can now continue on with the next part of their educational and personal growth. I was the very start of it; the foundation to which they will now build upon to become even better learners, friends, and self advocates.
Now to pass the real test- can I do it all over again? Can I take another group of 5-year-olds and help and encourage them to grow mentally, academically, and socially? Can i take their “yes” and “no” and make them “yes, please” and “no, thank you”? Can I take their yelling out and steer them toward raised hands and indoor voices? Can I take their absence of letter and sound recognition and teach them how to write, read, and spell? Can I teach them how to count by 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s- all the way to 100? Can I teach them how to add and subtract? Will I be able to take what I learned from this year and apply it to next year? The confident part of me says “yes“, the scared part of me says “I hope so“.
That is where this blog would have helped me- you know, if I had started it back in August when I was beginning this first year journey. Hindsight is always 20-20, right? My goal for this upcoming year- blog, blog, blog. What did we do today? What went well? What didn’t go so well? How did the students feel? How did I feel? What other things do I want to remember about that day?
So, why am I starting this blog now- 2 weeks before the end of the year? Because I want to remember these days, just as much as I want to remember the beginning of the year. I want to assess where I am now, with this class, and be able to compare it to where I end next year with my next class. I’ll admit, after these next 2 weeks I doubt I will be blogging much- but even though a teacher has a “free summer”, fellow teachers know that that is, however, not entirely true. I will undoubtably be in my classroom throughout the summer, and will hopefully be blogging throughout those mini adventures as well.
Have no fear, though. These next 2 weeks will be full of fun and excitement as the end of the year creeps up ever so quickly. I’ll be sure to share the smiles, giggles, and, lets face it- tears.
~ Miss Sementelli