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You can take a teacher out of Kindergarten...

 But you can't take the Kindergarten out of the teacher.

I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff... with a choice... I could turn back - continue doing what I've always loved, what I was comfortable with, what I had worked so hard to perfect and establish... OR... I could jump into the unknown, try something completely different, and stretch my wings... I chose to jump...

Last May I left my position as a primary (K-2) teacher and transferred to fourth grade, which, in my district, is housed at the middle school along with fifth through eighth. After 20 years at the same wonderful school I decided now was the time to jump. 

So many factors went into making this decision... from knowing I'd able to drive my own children to school, to feeling the call to push myself professionally. But, mostly, I just felt in my heart that I needed change. The last 2.5 years have been hard on everyone, but this online Kindergarten teacher found herself burnt out. My candle blazed hot during the Covid years as I worked so hard to provide for more students. I count those years as some of my most successful and fulfilling years in education. But, as my candle burned so bright I failed to notice the wick was slowly running out, and at the end of the 21-22 school year I found myself discouraged and struggling.

Thankfully, I was able to make a change. I'm putting my reading expertise to new use as a fourth grade reading teacher. I'm expanding my technology-teaching prowess by using Google Classroom. For the first time, I get to teach one of my own children as I join my youngest son in fourth grade. I'm excited about school again. My spark has been reignited and I'm looking forward to my 21st year in teaching with great anticipation.

As I was pondering my career change someone told me, "You know, kids are kids... fourth graders may be bigger, older, and smellier than Kindergarteners, but they are still kids. If you meet their needs, love them, and challenge them, they will grow."

And you know what? They were exactly right! 

Since making a career change I have found I am less stressed, more connected with my family, and newly inspired as a teacher. All areas of my life have improved! All areas EXCEPT my online teacher-presence.

I have been "silent" online because I don't ever want to portray or promote anything other than what I am... and currently I am NOT a Kindergarten teacher. Since most of my online presence involves Kindergarten resources and ideas, I just haven't felt "right" about continuing to promote that part of my teacher-self. So, I've just put 21st Century K on the backburner while I sort things out in my head and in my heart.

And I've finally come to a couple of new realizations...

1. My Kindergarten resources are STILL RELEVANT and useful in the 21st Century Kindergarten classroom! How do I know this? Because MY HUSBAND IS A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER and he uses 21st Century K resources in his classroom EVERY SINGLE DAY! So, although I am not personally teaching Kindergarten this year, I have a close teacher-ally still putting all my Kindergarten ideas into practice. 😉

2. I am still a Kindergarten teacher at heart - the content may be more rigorous and specialized (I teach reading), the students may be older (and louder), and the grading/scheduling may be (way) different, but in the end Kindergarteners and fourth graders aren't all that different. And the values I held onto as a Kindergarten teacher are still my values today - I still believe in age appropriate integration of diversity, technology, STEAM, play, and Calendar Time!

So, I've updated my logo, I'm adding upper elementary resources to TpT, and I'm excited to continue sharing my teaching journey and the parallels between primary and upper elementary.

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