Sunday, July 17, 2011

CH 3. Becoming a Jack of Trades

I was intimidated by fourth grade Science-- I had to make sure these kids were ready for the 5th grade test.  Fortunately, we had a great program called AIMS that I really researched and tested the lessons to find what I liked, and soon enough I became "the science person" on our campus.  

Do you remember me saying that in my interview another teacher asked me about teaching factors and I had no idea what she was talking about?  Well she was the 4th grade math teacher...go figure ;)... but I LOVED HER!!! Mrs. Garrett, a veteran teacher of 20+ years,  taught me how to give and gain respect, have high expectations, and guided me through my culture shock.  Yes... I had kids that had parents in jail, or didn't know where they were, had no running water, or didn't get read to....I was shocked when kids weren't passing my tests when I gave them the reviews.  Mrs. Garrett really helped me to become the teacher I am... she helped me to accept the conditions I am given and make the best of them for the kids.   When it came the 4th grade Math test, I taught all the metric system so she didn't have to and all the graphing skills, and the kids did really well.

One day, Mrs. Garrett pulled me into the principal's office between a class switch and then she told him that out of all the people they had hired in the past 3 years, I was his best pick.  All I could think of was that horrible interview question she asked me that I bombed. 

Before the school year was up, my principal asked me to teach 3rd grade self-contained... reading...writing...math...science....social studies.  Of course I took it, and I loved those kids- that age.  I was still known as the Science person, and went to regional workshops to write curriculum for my grade level and the region.    However, at the end of the year, I was getting married and moving to a town about an hour away, so I had to find a new position.  I got hired at an elementary in my new town for 3rd grade self- contained again.

It was the week that my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, and I was at my in-laws when I got a phone call from the high school principal of the only high school in my town.  He asked if I would come and teach Art I at the high school.  I could not believe what I as hearing... I literally... not joking.... literally thought I was dreaming.  I asked if I needed to interview, that I was out of town, and I could be in tomorrow if needed.  He said No, just come and work for him.  I told him that I was signed on at a local elementary (that was between principals) to teach 3rd grade; he responded with that he could change it at the administration office since there was no principal there.  

God was here, giving me the path to go to the high school and to teach art... to finally get my dream.  My plan was to teach 3rd grade that year, but God had something different in mind, and it was so much better!  Now I was going into my 3rd year.... teaching a 3rd area....I had been part of a team, a self-contained teacher, and now at the high school.  I was becoming a Jack of Trades.

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