My girl, Michelle at Big Time Literacy, is hosting a fun End of Year Reflections link-up, and I am super excited to join this party. For me, this is the end of NINE years in education, which I can hardly believe. I've worked in MANY schools and worn even more hats. I don't think I ever would have guessed I'd be where I am today, but it's been a mostly-fun ride. I've certainly learned a lot about teaching and even about myself as a person, and I'm hopeful and excited about what the future holds. Okay,that was getting sappy. On to my reflections...
I had a lot of great memories this year. Most of them include copious amounts of laughter with my students and coworkers. Others are as simple as being stalked the moment I walk into the building each morning by eager students hoping to hear that I would be subbing for one of their teachers. It's nice to be wanted! :)
Some of my other favorite moments include:
1. When a 7th grader anxiously alerted me that the phone he was trying to use to call home was obviously broken because of the weird sound it was making... you know... the DIAL TONE! hahaha (Apparently, I didn't blog about this one, but I did mention it on FACEBOOK. Are you following me there? You should be because I post funny things there sometimes.)
2. When I taught my students to RESPECT THE MADGE!
3. When I forgot about THIS STUDENT I put in time-out for sassing me!
I had one interview this winter for a long-term position that would have taken me through the end of the year. It was in a new district, further away, and it probably wasn't going to turn into a full-time position due to the teacher planning to return and there being only one middle school in the whole district (so not a lot of movement). When it came down to the final two, I lost the job to the other candidate. I'll never know why, which I think is the hardest part, but I do know that the principal was very happy with me.
I also wish I had put in more effort to secure additional tutoring jobs during the school year. Most of the time, I whine about having to go after I'm tired from a long day, but it's good money and rewarding in that I truly get to see how much I'm helping my student. Now that summer is here, tutoring will become a much bigger job for me because instead of helping with homework, I have to plan engaging activities for only one child. HELP!
Game ChangersThis year, I accepted a job as a long-term sub for a world history teacher. Although I am highly qualified to teach social studies, I never saw myself teaching anything but ELA. I certainly am not as confident in my history knowledge, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. What I didn't expect, though, is that I would enjoy it so much! There really is something to be said for teaching a content area that doesn't rely so heavily on previous learning. And I have to admit, I enjoyed learning WITH my students!
This year, as is typical for a substitute teacher, much of my focus was in securing jobs for each day. It definitely helped that I started the year with a long-term position in my preferred school, but I still had to do quite a bit of networking to get my information in teacher's hands. I wanted to be their go-to person anytime they were out, which means they had to be able to contact me at all times (thank God for texting) and they had to be confident in their ability to trust me to get the job done well.
I literally worked up to the very last day of school with very few days off. And often, especially on Fridays or on meeting days, teachers would be fighting to be the first to request me, so I'd say mission accomplished there!
I'd definitely say that the place I've dropped the ball most this year was actually out of the classroom. I've gone though some major dry spells when it comes to blogging this year. This is partially due to the fact that I've been conscious about not sitting in front of a screen every evening and partially due to limited computer access while subbing... because I would totally have blogged during my planning periods had I been given a computer login!
I also wasn't as active on TPT as I intended. I know I have some great material to share, but I also don't have the skills to make everything all pretty. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make my own clipart that doesn't look like it was put together from a toddler! haha Maybe this summer....
Overall, I'd say this was a great year professionally. I was busy, I stepped out of my comfort zone and taught a new subject, I met and bonded with a whole new staff, and I became a school mom to 936 students who make my heart happy! Now, I'm just anxiously awaiting this INTERVIEW TOMORROW where I can hopefully be appointed an official member of my school for next year! KEEP THOSE FINGERS CROSSED!