Reflection On My First Year Teaching

I was reflecting today about my first year teaching -or first 2 semesters I should say- and how I decided to start Lessons With Coffee

I graduated in December of 2012 with a degree in Elementary Education with a STEM certificate and Middle Level Mathematics, Engineering, and Social Studies endorsements.  My goal has ALWAYS been to teach in an elementary school in St. Paul, Minnesota.  How then, did I end up teaching 7th grade math support last year and 6th grade girls math in the 2013-14 school year?
During my stint as a student teacher for my middle level endorsements I was contacted by our then principal 3 weeks before I was supposed to be done.  November 21 to be exact.  She informed me that there was extra money in the Title One budget for a math support teacher for 7th grade and would I want to interview for it.  Well of course I did.  Somehow, I ended up with a full time teaching job, 2 days later, before I had finished my undergrad.   I started after Thanksgiving break. In the beginning it was quite funny actually.  Because I graduated December 22, and technically did not have a license, I had to have a substitute in the room with me at all times until my license went through.  Was I ecstatic that I had a full time job when all my classmates were subbing? Yes, Duh!  Was I thrilled of the grade level? No, in fact, less than. You see as it turned out I got a job in the highest paying district in our state – I am not bragging – but this district has a “No Move Unless We Say” policy until you are tenured.  
My dreams of Miss Ivey’s Jungle/Frog Pond/Buzzy Bees/Little Monsters (enter cute classroom theme) have been put on hold until I hold that coveted Tenure and can request a transfer to elementary school.  Le Sigh.  I should not complain, my kids are exceptional, my staff is supportive, and I have a job!  But even though it was only field work and student teaching, I miss teaching children to read, write, sing, play AND do math.  I miss building the relationship with just 30 students rather than 120. 
With that said.  My district is bringing 6th grade into the middle schools, and therefore I am going to teach a grade as close to elementary as possible! I am going to be one of 2 teachers for 6th grade girls mathematics.  We will have 2 boys companions (my school is gender specific for core classes.) As it stands now, I am the only teacher on the 6th grade team.  Which scares my pants off.  I am hoping my administration does a stellar job at hiring and I am not the most “senior” teacher on my team. 
This week I went to 4 days worth of curriculum/scope and sequence/and common assessment writing as our district did not have a curriculum built in for 6th graders in a middle school – only the 90 minute math program from elementary.  I am really excited to use the Holt 2 book, the Holt Manipulatives, and the collective input of all the other 6th grade teachers in my district as we start this journey to improve the 6th grade instruction in St. Paul!
This is where this blog, Lessons With Coffee, comes in.  I am going to use this as a: means for self reflection, lesson reflection for district, ideas storage, and ideas sharing platform.  Where I would love visitors/followers/my students to come and say “HI!” I am not expecting it nor seeking out the attention.  
You can follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram if you feel like it, :).
Here goes the academic School Year of 2013-2014!

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