I have now completed my second year of teaching. My first year was rough, as to be expected. I was in a city I didn't know, far from friends and family. I didn't know anyone I worked with and I wasn't super confident in the first grade curriculum. Even though I jumped at the chance to come back to Utah to be closer to friends and family, I grew to love the other first grade teachers. I became very close with another first year teacher, and we worked together on almost everything. The other teachers slowly brought us both under their wings and we even went out together a few times to blow off steam after school. One of the hardest things about working in Nevada was the lack of supplies available to me. On top of that I was working at a school in a very low income area, so most of the parents did not have the means to donate much. It was rough and I spent a lot of my own money. But I learned a lot and applied what I learned to this past year.
This past school year was a completely different experience. There were some things I knew I would get when I came back to Utah: friends and family near by, more involved parents, and more supplies readily available to me. One thing I did not get that I was positive I would have was a team of teachers to work with. It is the norm in Utah schools that teachers in the same school teaching the same grade level work together as a team. I was one of three kindergarten teachers at my school. The other two teachers were anything but welcoming to me. I was excluded from meetings and conversations, nothing was shared with me, no planning was ever done together, they would assign me to do things without telling me, and they were flat out rude to me.
It was such a trying year.
I am so grateful for my sweet husband who would let me talk through my daily trials and would build me up when I was feeling so low.
I was also so fortunate to have a wonderful class. They were sweet and worked hard. I did not have to do much reteaching or reminding of rules and procedures. Lastly, I had a pretty steady class, not a lot of move in a move outs.
My real saving grace this year, though - the other teachers at the school. I worked with third and fourth grade in the afternoons everyday. They were so kind and made me feel like part of their team. Everything I expected to get from my own team, but didn't get, I got from those other teachers.
My husband always says to me, "If you love your job 4 out of 5 days a week, you are doing the right job." Without those other teachers, I don't know if I could have said that I loved my job 4 out of 5 days a week. I love kids, and I love teaching. But without a supporting team surrounding me, it just wasn't enough. Every interaction with the other kinder teachers left me in a more and more negative place.
I am moving schools again for the next school year. I have already met my new grade level team, what a breath of fresh air! They are so warm and inviting! We are all already friends on Facebook after only meeting a few times.
I am very optimistic going into this new school year, and can't wait for all the opportunities to come!