At the beginning of last week, I was so pumped about the coming school year. I had an amazing co-teacher that I had spent the summer with, I had an awesome teaching-team that we had planned and created, I got to go back to my pre-k classroom and see my kiddos, I was packing up stuff and getting ready to move to the new building…and then it all came crashing down.
My site director came into my coworkers room and asked if we could all chat. She told us to sit down. That can’t be good right? It wasn’t. She told us that the agency had made a decision to split the co-teaching teams and move the year 1 teachers to a different building to lead teach with a teacher assistant and we would be doing the same, but in our building. This doesn’t seem like huge news, except that it was. These girls had been spending the summer knowing they were teaching with us. We had spent the summer creating a teaching plan that could only be implemented with 4 lead teachers. The reason behind these changes do not make a ton of sense, and really sets us up for failure. Although most pre-k teachers within TFA use the lead teacher/teacher assistant model, at my agency that is difficult. There is more paperwork, more requirements, extra meetings, and plenty more accountability than most public school systems. It is much more difficult to do all of this paperwork by yourself.
So, I have spent the last week contemplating, trying to figure out the best approach, complaining about the changes, being angry…all of these things were therapeutic. I needed to be angry and frustrated. I needed to cry to my MTLD about things not working out the way I had planned. I needed to feel the failure set in.
I have had a week to do those things. Now, I am ready to come out of the cave, wash my face, and start over. I need to be OKAY for my students. I need to move on for my own sanity. I need to be strong for the year 1 girls. I need to be strong for my new teacher assistant. I have to suck it up, and figure it out, and quick, school starts in a week and a half. There is no more time to be upset…there isn’t anymore time to complain. I have work to do.
So, here I am reflecting on my last year teaching and what I need to do in order to start the school year successfully. I have a tough class this year and I can’t afford to be weak and fail. I must be a strong and dedicated teacher to my kiddos.
This year will definitely be different, it will be tough, it will be challenging, BUT I know I can do it. I don’t have any other choice. The kiddos need me, and I know I need them.