Today marks my first full week on summer break, and it couldn't come any sooner! This year has, by far, been my most difficult year to teach. I had a very difficult class, most of whom have been together since 3rd grade, some even since 1st grade. That is WAY too long for a group of students to be together. It makes the teacher the outsider from the very beginning, rather than the person who unifies the class. I also had a student teacher at the beginning of the year, she started with me at the end of last year, and she is/was wonderful. I agreed to a student teacher last year when I had a really great class, if I had know what was coming my way I wouldn't have put us through that. It made for a poor experience for her, but she survived and will be a great teacher because of it!
I am not going to go into details describing this year, but I was planning on resigning at Christmas, and reluctantly came back. Probably the only reason I came back was because I was almost finished with my masters program and felt it would be a wast of money to quit and still have to pay for the degree. It was an up hill battle the entire year and it NEVER got better, not even on the last day of school. Individually there was not one student that I did not like and enjoy, but as a group they fed off of each other.
I was the sickest I have ever been this year, and I truly think it was because of how stressed I was. (Substitute teachers avoided my room.) It got so bad that my family didn't even want to be around me because I was so grouchy.
I have been very happy at my school all the years I have taught, and feel very supported and have good relationships with administration and staff. But I felt that there was no way I wanted to risk another year like this, so I have put in for a transfer for a middle school math position. One is a 6, 7, 8 honors math, where I would be teaching pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry; the other is a 6th grade math position. I figure that I can at least put in for the transfer, interview, and if I am offered the job I still have the opportunity to decline it. If I take the job, and hate it, I can always transfer back to the elementary school.
The pros of moving to the middle school are if I have another terrible group of students, I only have them for an hour a day rather than all day. Also I get an hour and a half of planning a day, where as now I get an hour and a half 2 times a week! The best pro is that I would teach my favorite and strongest subject...Math. I would also be on the traditional calendar, and in 2 yeas Madison will go to middle school and be on the traditional calendar. There is a greater chance that I will be happier, and therefor be happier at home, and my family will be happier. OH! and I would get a long summer-- much needed after this year!
The cons... well change. That makes me feel uneasy. Elementary is all I know and I have always taught a the same school. I would be leaving the staff that I know and work well with. Other than that I can't see any other cons.
What ever happens, I will be fine with it. At this point I an not entirely sure if I will accept the position or not, but I needed to at least go for it.
Learned? I am just so thankful that I made it through this year, sane, still married, my children still love me, and I actually want to teach again.
EDIT: How embarrassing! I have this issue when I type, and I some how type dyslexic, I thought I did spellcheck, but I guess I didn't, so to anyone who read this post earlier... sorry for all the errors!!!