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Putting Passion on Hold

June 18, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, my principal awoke me at 8am on a Monday to let me know some good and bad news.  The good news is that our school’s enrollment has jumped quite a bit, which was a major focus for us last year.  I even took on recruiting for our neighborhood school as a leadership project for the Teacher Leadership Institute of which I was a part.  I never thought I would have to be recruiting for a zoned, neighborhood school, but we did.  And it worked!  We saw an increase of about 40 students (nearly double) over last year’s numbers.

After delivering the great news, my principal announced to me that I would have to go back to teaching 5th grade.  Math.  There were so many disappointments that hit me then.  You see, I was supposed to loop up to 6th grade in a self-contained class with my “angel students” (none of them were angels, but we had a special bond).  This means that when I promised them that I would be their teacher next year, I lied.  It also means that I won’t get to experience the joy of a self-contained classroom where I get to take as much time on whatever whenever I need.

The second biggest sacrifice here (the first being leaving those 6th graders behind) is that I won’t have the opportunity to teach literacy, which is my true passion.  It’s true that I enjoy teaching math, but I know it’s not my strength.  It’s simply not what I’m best at, and I don’t really like doing things that I’m not awesome at doing. (Insert over-achiever joke here.)

I’ve already been thinking about ways to keep working with students on literacy skills, even if it won’t be the main focus of my daily classroom teaching.  Hopefully, I can drum up enough student interest to sponsor before school book clubs and to finally get that school news blog up and running.  These activities should keep my passion for literacy instruction alive, while allowing me to strengthen my math instruction.

And, it’s only for a year.  I can totally do this.

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