I’ve already written posts about all of my different teaching positions, and how I moved from role to role, but this year has been a hot mess. Not only have I been moved around, but I’ve mentally prepared for having five different roles for the 2020-2021 school year.
1. Inclusion- Special Education
The first role that I anticipated having for this school year was my previous position. I plan on talking about that role more later, but because I was having trouble finding a position in a different district, I mentally prepared for the situation in which I didn’t find one at all.
For this position, I told myself that I would be okay because I already knew most of my students (I looped with them for up to three years in this position), and I already knew how to do the job. After all, I had already done it for two years!
2. Self-Contained Special Education
On the last day of school, about an hour before my last morning meeting, I received an email from my supervisor with a “new placement”. In the email, it said that I was being moved to a self-contained classroom in a new school for 2020-2021. This had not come up in conversation with my boss leading up to this point, and I was really confused.
I reached out to her multiple ways to find out if it was a mistake, but I didn’t hear back until two minutes before my morning meeting. She called me back and told me that it wasn’t a mistake, and would talk to me more later since I had to go teach.
How do you go back to teaching after finding out that you’re being moved to a different position in a different school without hearing about it earlier? Long story short, I was not happy. It was a really hard day.
Because I still didn’t have a position in the district, I had to mentally prepare for a job that I was not interested in.
3. Fourth Grade- General Education In-Person
This next one was the most exciting position that I thought I was going to have this year. After multiple interviews that weren’t going anywhere, I had the best interview at a school with an incredible principal. I got called within the hour of my interview ending, and got offered a fourth-grade position! I was so excited that I cried.
This position is what I felt most mentally prepared for for this school year.
4. Fourth Grade- General Education Virtual
I talked about this next position change in my Just Another 2020 Curve-ball post, but after being prepared to work at a really good school, I got bumped to be a virtual teacher for the whole school year. I was really upset about this at first for a couple of reasons.
One, I have to re-interview next year for the position that I JUST got. Two, we aren’t being given any funding to help with material costs for our students, Materials were decided and purchased in bulk from the district, so we had no say in what the students are getting this year. Last, we had to pack up our classrooms, move all of our stuff out, and we weren’t given a place to work from.
Now, I have made peace with the fact that this year is just going to suck. I feel like I’ve really gotten used to organizing everything and figuring out the whole virtual teaching thing. I have a mini classroom set up in the corner of my bedroom, where I shove all of the furniture around to get in and out of bed. I’ve gotten creative with lessons, and teachers have been leaning on each other more than ever. The fourth grade virtual team is amazing!
5. Second Grade- General Education Virtual
Now, if you were counting you realized that was only four. Last Friday I got a call that I was being moved to second grade, my class was being split up, and I had two days to shift gears. I cried. A lot.
Changing positions is one thing, but changing positions when you’ve already made the connection with your students is AWFUL. I loved each and every one of my students, and now they were being moved into other classes.
Again, the call came right before morning meeting. Again, I had to collect myself to join the Google Meet and tell my kids that today was our last day together. My students were upset–some were crying–and the parents were not happy. Making connections over Google Meet isn’t easy, but we had already worked together for three weeks.
I had a plan. I was even caught up on grades AND plans. That has happened exactly one time in my teaching career–last week. Between losing my incredible class, having to switch gears, and feeling like the rug was ripped out from under my feet, I had a really rough day.
Where I Am Now
After a really emotional day on Friday, a night of no sleep, and a whole Saturday spent mentally adjusting and getting things set up, I finally found peace.
I’m thankful that the grade I am being moved to is a grade that I am comfortable with teaching. I’m thankful that I have a few friends working on the second-grade team. I’m also thankful that I was given two school days to figure things out. This is not an easy switch, and multiple classes were affected in this transition. I hope that my fourth grade kiddos are okay with the transition, and can adjust quickly.
Even though I have accepted the transition, and gotten excited to work with my new class, I’m still incredibly sad to have left my old class so quickly. We had one day to come to terms and say goodbye. That’s not easy for an adult, and it’s definitely not easy for a kid.
I’ll be seeing my old students again. I plan on having fun Google Meets to check in and say hello. Until then, I hope everyone can finally get started with this school year.