I haven’t taken the opportunity to update you all on my job. First of all, I still have one…which is a good thing if you are a teacher in Michigan right now. Back in April, my principal at Memorial informed me that I will be teaching only at that building. For the past 9 years I have taught art half-time at both of the elementary buildings…driving back and forth. I came to East Jackson to be the elementary art teacher…never really thought I would ever do anything else…until recent years when my budget has gradually been cut from $1200 per school to $100 per school and with layoffs and stuff…I haven’t been so assured that this is what I will always do. My job next year, as it stands right now, will be teaching art only at Memorial in the morning and then teaching the afternoon kindergarten. I have been a classroom teacher before…before getting hired at East Jackson. I used to teach 4th/5th split at a charter school in Coldwater. Those were some crazy times…but such great experience for me. And now I am really glad, because I think I would feel a little lost about having a class without that experience. Not that 4th and 5th grade is anything like kindergarten. I have a lot to learn this summer…a lot to get educated about. I don’t know anything about reading levels, MLPP (I am signed up for a class this summer, though), report cards, oh my word – there is so much I am going to have to figure out. Not only that, but I really have very little for my classroom. I have some friends that are saving me stuff and my sister has a lot of things I can probably use, but I’ll still have to go through it all and figure out what I can actually use and how I am going to use it. We have no curriculum/teacher guides for kindergarten, so I have probably spent 15-20 hours already researching and visiting kindergarten sites and other educational sites to find resources for what I will teach next year in kindergarten, AND getting the GLCEs from the Department of Ed. so I can know what I actually need to be teaching. I have also observed in two classrooms. It’s scary to think that I will have to teach these little kids so much. How to follow directions, how to stand in lines, how to listen and work independently and with groups, how to read! I hope I do a good job. I am sort of excited about the challenge…which is what I feel it is…but at the same time I am a little nervous. I think as far as teaching them, it will be a blast. I love that age…my two boys are kindergarten age…and I know it will be a lot of fun. I will enjoy being at only one building next year (the closer one – and that’s a plus with the gas prices being so high), but I know I will miss my friends at the other building, because it’s likely I will only see them a couple of times during the whole school year…and that kind of makes me sad. I will really miss my students over there. Just the other day one of my Robinson 2nd graders gave me a note that said “you fill me with art and happiness.” So cute!
The reason for the change is because the district cut the high school art hours in half…she has seniority over me and apparently there were no other openings in what else she can teach, so she is going to be doing all the art at Robinson.