Change is a part of life…I get that. Trying to adjust to the changes in my life over the last year hasn’t always been easy. Since January of 2010, my father passed away, my school closed down, and I’m in a very different teaching position. I certainly haven’t found a way to escape change. For the purpose of this writing, I will focus only on my new teaching position.
I knew in advance of my school closing due to downsizing in our district. After being a middle school mathematics regular classroom teacher for umpteen years, I decided this would be my opportunity to make a change. If there was one thing I was coming to despise in my career, it was "all the noise, noise, noise, noise," (to take a quote from the Grinch) of the regular classroom. There was a grant-funded position in a different building that I decided to bid on where the teacher works with at-risk students one-on-one, who have had trouble in mathematics. I’ve now been in this position since September.
It’s odd. I have everything I always wanted in a teaching position. There are no discipline issues. I can walk students through difficult topics at a pace they can handle. I can give them the individual attention they need. We can delve deeper into mathematical topics than time would allow in a regular classroom. It ought to be bliss. The one thing I’m still trying to adjust to is the lack of interaction with the whole-group. How can I miss the “noise, noise, noise, noise?”
There’s something powerful in seeing students work together in discovery. Not that every moment in my previous math classes was full of learning, but there certainly weren’t many dull moments. The piece of my day that used to make me wonder, as I drove home from work, if I had it in me to return to that classroom the next day, is that same piece of my day that I find myself…missing!
For those of you in the trenches, I’m sure the tears aren’t flowing for me in my new situation. The realities of the teacher of a regular classroom are still very real in to me…it’s tough! I hope you can catch a taste of what it might be like to lose the group dynamic that you have learned to teach within. It’s not only a skill you’ve honed over time, but a part of your life you just might miss when it’s gone.
Yes, change is a part of life. In a grant-funded position, I’m aware this could be gone next year. If so, I will likely be right back in the “noise, noise, noise, noise.” Through change, I’m learning (slowly) to appreciate the good in where I’m at right now. Try to appreciate the good in the midst of those busy classroom situations. None of this lasts forever.