You know, you don't really know just how hard this job is until you do it. I mean, really, though. There's so much to think about all the time... I wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I have enough supplies for the science experiment for tomorrow or if I should have called so-and-so's Mom about such-and-such... I think about how different things will effect my kids... what will they think of this or that? How will whatever-the-case-may-be-today effect their day? Will they be so excited over the new things we're doing or bored to tears? Will it be too hard and too frustrating? Will it be too easy and I'll need more for them to do? I mean, if you don't teach you just really can't have a clue all of the thinking and planning and organization and preparation that goes into each and every minute of the day. For instance, I work with an awesome team of teachers. I mean it. They are GREAT and I am so blessed. They have truly helped me so much. Even with the plans being mostly done for me and everything I still spend hours on plans and organization and stuff. For example, we are working on magnets right now in science, so I bought 40 magnets. Then, I put 4 items in 16 envelopes so that the kids would have their own kit to see what "stuck" to the magnet. Then, I get to school and we finally get to science (which is unfortunately at the smack end of the day) and they are so excited over the magnets that we hardly get to do the lesson. Of course, I know better. I should have allowed them to play with the tools before expecting them to learn with them. This is a common problem and I know how to do it- I just simply did not have the time today. Time. Time is always an issue. There is just never enough time in my day. I was so excited to see the kids excited over science though! It was so cool!
There are things to plan besides lessons. For example, I never knew how much thought went in to lining up... or coming back in the room... or getting water... or picking a book... I mean, you name it and I should have thought about it in depth... and didn't. That's ok though because I am learning as I go and the kids seem to adapt when I need to change something. Though they don't say it, I think they can all tell I'm new at this. It's so funny to see them though when I have to change something. I have found that if I just say what I'm changing and why they go right along with it. They like to know the "why"s to everything. They're so curious.
I will say that I am worn out. I am finding that I need to stop worrying about the little things and see the big picture. Honestly, if I continue to worry myself over all the tiny things I will worry myself sick. I'm trying to learn to just let it go. Are they always on task at work stations? No. Does that really matter? Not really. They get their work done and this is new to them... now, this time next week if we're still having issues I'll have to figure something else out. These days I'm finding that my life is kind of trial and error. I try to maintain consistency because that's really what kids need... so, I'm giving the work station thing a little more time before I decide to revamp it. who knows, maybe they will figure it out and we can work it out together. I hope so! I have faith in them.
Really, the most important thing is that they are learning. I can tell they are. Most of them are working very hard and I am so proud of them. I just need to get a few to step it up and we will be right on track.
Overall, I am very pleased with the year so far. I feel like I am finally earning the kids' trust and that makes me really happy.