Sunday, August 26, 2018

Similarities and Differences

I've completed my first week of teaching third grade. I'm a little giddy because of the fun factor. The children are adorable and tell me amusing anecdotes. Plus, they won't be writing multi-thousand word essays I'll need to grade on weekends and holidays.

This is not to say I won't have other things to do on weekends and holidays: the lesson planning and the scheduling and the understanding of students' needs and capabilities in many a discipline will take up that same time. But those tasks seem more interesting to me at this point in my career.

The whole switch has been exhilarating.

Here are some critical differences between teaching elementary and secondary that I've noticed in my first days in the former:
  • One needs a slightly different wardrobe with swishier, more versatile clothing. Many of my outfits no longer suit because of the constant up-and-down of elementary teaching. A skirt needs to have a certain give and a certain length to make it work for sitting on the rug in a circle.
  • The job is more physical, and I get sweatier. It's not that secondary teaching is sedentary by any means. But third-grade teaching with the necessary vertical flexibility I previously mentioned, plus the bending over at the waist, plus the line walking--I don't know. Something about it makes showering more imperative. This is not to say I didn't value cleanliness in my former capacities.
  • The children all have something to tell me. It's charming, and I laugh and smile a lot. To be fair, I laughed and smiled a lot in my old jobs, as well. Teaching is teaching, and it's all pretty fun.
  • But here's an excellent bonus: I've forced kids of all ages sing songs with me and repeat affirmations. However, I've never experienced total compliance and freedom from eye-rolling in grades six and up, no matter how catchy or helpful the song or affirmation. In third grade, though, they look at me earnestly and try their best in these activities. It's that simple.
Third grade! I like it here, and I'm feeling fine.


mm said...

I love the last point about singing without eye rolls.

LH said...

This post makes me happy as all get out.