As we were walking, it hit me how close we are to the end of the school year. That blows my mind! When I think back to August and how excited I was to be a kindergarten teacher and to be teaching in a real school district, I almost laugh at myself. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I even though, "Hey, I've taught preschool for three years. Kindergarten will be easy." I was so, so wrong.If I had known how many hairs I would pull out and tears I would shed, I'm not sure I would have been quite as excited.
Here's the thing though, when I look at it from the end perspective, I have loved every second of it. I tend to view teaching as a calling. I believe it is more than a job; it is more than just the way I get my paycheck each month. I really believe God put me here to touch the lives of children, and I hope that's what I'm doing. If there is one thing in life that brings a smile to my face every time, it's having the chance to talk about teaching and my students. I am a more patient and understanding person because I teach, and I'm so grateful to respond to that call.
There is uncertainty in my future at my current school district. My position was created because of the exceptionally large group of kindergartners we have this year. At this point, it looks like I'll be traveling to first grade with this group. Unfortunately, there is a very real possibility that the group will be narrowed down into three sections (as opposed to four) starting in second grade and my position would be eliminated. That scares the dickens out of me. What will I do if I can't teach?
This thought occupies my mind quite frequently, but as we were walking tonight, all I could think of was how incredibly grateful I am to have experienced this year. I took risks, which is so unheard of in my life. (Seriously. I don't even break the speed limit...) I recreated (and recreated and recreated) my entire classroom management system. I grew in my respect and understanding of young learners. I taught students to read (which, quite literally, makes me tear up to think about)! I honestly think it would be fair to say that I've learned, changed, and improved more in this single year than I did in all three years of preschool.
It's so hard to think of saying good bye to my 19 lovelies. I know that I might have a few of them again next year, but the class will be different. It is sad to think everything we have created together being broken apart. I want the very best for each of my kiddos. I hope first grade is just as amazing as kindergarten for them. (I hope kindergarten was amazing for them!) Most importantly, I hope that kindergarten has impacted them in some way that helps them become fantastic citizens of our world.
Gah! The heartaches of teaching! Luckily, we still have almost two months to stay together. I'm going to do my best to blissfully ignore the ticking time and enjoy every moment I have left with this amazing, challenging, loving, awesome group of children I have been blessed with!