The new year

It only takes four years to stop feeling like a first year teacher.

That sums up my theme for this year thus far. Where did this change come from? This shift from overwhelming work loads and constant uncertainty to confidence and daily love for my work. Is it me? Is it my students? Is it my co-workers?
I suddenly realized this is the kind of year I WANT to write about. I have 108 students that make me happy every day. I teach on a team with two teachers who make each day fun and exciting. I have finally reached a place where I see best practices at work in my classroom daily, and I see the results from that in every student who sits in my room.
Trimester one ended yesterday. I spent the morning going through my grade book and assigning As and Bs and the occasional C. But, yesterday, with my new found organization, I found time to write a comment about every student. Every one.
"Sara is a strong math student. She asks good questions every day"
"John works hard in this class. He always has his homework done on time"
"Margret has made a real change since we spoke on the phone. She is using class time wisely."
"Sam is a nice young man who gets distracted by his friends from time to time."
That information, however brief, provides so much more to parents than any letter I could stick on a report card. A, B, C... what do those even mean?
Now I'm teetering on the start of a new trimester and a new unit, all crammed into the awkward two weeks before winter break. I have some thinking to do this weekend as I plot out the next 10 school days. And I look forward to it. The planning, the plotting, the decisions about how to create daily meaningful learning. It's what makes my job the best job a person could ask for.

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