I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Just as an FYI because I assume you are all long since finished with this school year, tomorrow is our last day of school.

Some months back I wrote about my intentions to change schools. As I reread it, I sounded so calm about the idea. Now, as I face the actual event, I am terrified.

I have always wanted to be a teacher. Aside from some brief dreams of being Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys and working as a private eye (yes, that’s the term I used) teaching is the only job I ever considered. After graduation I postponed teaching in order to play the harp on a cruise ship. Between contracts and after I moved on, I substituted. It wasn’t in my original plan, but it was exceptionally beneficial. Eventually I took over a fifth grade classroom for the final quarter of the year, and through that, found a teaching job.

That job was in fourth grade at such an amazing school. I had always thought I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher but my time in fifth grade convinced me that those bigger kids were awesome. They could tie their own shoes, have amazing conversations, work independently, and didn’t wet their pants. Wow. The fourth grade job was perfect for me.

For five years I taught fourth graders. Then I looped up with a class to fifth grade. Loved it so much that I went back to fourth grade and did it again. After that I spent two years teaching our new fifth grade gifted class (now called AAP – advanced academics program).

After ten years of teaching I felt I was in a bit of a rut and made the move to first grade. Definitely shook things up! I spent half a year (at least) feeling like I used to be a good teacher. Similar to how my husband felt when he had to learn to drive a stick shift for our honeymoon in Spain.

I’ve been in first grade now for six years. The longest I’ve stayed teaching one grade for consecutive years (I did teach fourth grade for a total of six years, just broken up by a year in fifth grade). I’ve been lucky to be able to shake things up in my current school for the past sixteen years. I recognize that change is critical for me in order to continue growing professionally.

It’s time for a change. I was lucky enough to have options, and options that were fabulous. After some serious debating (because apparently I’m not so good at making decisions!), I will now be teaching kindergarten next year.

I am terrified.

I am full of what ifs that are horrific. This is completely out of character for me. But I’ve been at my current school for sixteen years. Sixteen years. It is home. Both of my daughters attend school there, my oldest for six years now. Most of my closest friends are there. Certainly the majority of people who have helped me grow as a teacher.

There will be much crying tomorrow.

One reply

  1. Peggy Smith says:

    Jen,
    Every change I made was a wonderful learning experience for me. I only made one change where I asked the wrong question in an interview. I asked questions that assured me that my new Principal wanted the same outcomes that I did. After I was at the school I realized that we had totally different ideas about how to achieve those goals. From the first day I walked into your fourth grade class I knew you were a gifted teacher. This change will be a wonderful experience. Another school will receive your gifts!

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