Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thoughts on Changing Grade Levels

I feel like changing grade levels is the story of my life.  In the 5 years I've been teaching (including this coming year), I've changed grade levels 4 times.  Blah.  Here's my table right now, as I'm trying to get ready...



As I'm sitting here, slightly stressing, I'm trying to tell myself all the positives of changing grade levels.  So I came up with 4 positives and 4 negatives of switching.  We'll start with the bad first, that way we end on a good note.  :)

Negatives:

1. Changing your mindset.  As teachers, we have to try to think like the kids we teach.  Even though I'm only moving down one grade, I still have to start thinking like a first grader.  They're just coming out of kindergarten!  It's actually a bigger change than one might think.

2. Materials: Oh. my. goodness.  This is what has me stressing.  I have to completely create appropriate materials all over again.  My to-do list of things I have to get ready is m-i-l-e-s long.  It feels like I'll never complete it!  It has taken me hours.  Days.  Weeks.  Even months to create stuff.  And I'm still not done.  Thank goodness for Teachers Pay Teachers.  Honestly.  I can find so many things so that I don't have to create everything.

3. Arranging your classroom: I went from 1st to 3rd to 2nd to 1st.  That's a lot of height changes on tables, desks, mailboxes, etc...

4.  Getting into the groove with a new team: I adore all the people I work with.  Each team has been WONDERFUL.  But they're all a little different in how they do things.  So getting used to that is another change.

Positives:

1.  It keeps me on my toes!: There's no time to get complacent when you're doing everything for the first time.

2.  You get to see how it all fits together: This is the coolest thing to me.  Seeing the developmental levels of all the kiddos and how they change from one grade to the next - it's quite amazing!  And I have a much better understanding of the puzzle, if you will.  I know where they've been, what they need to know, where they come from, and where they need to end.

3.  Thinking of new ways to reach my students: With every grade level comes new interests, new abilities, new creativity, new personalities...it's kinda fun to think of ways to teach them that will really reach where they are.

4.  It makes me a better teacher:  I get this burst of innovation every time I switch grade levels.  My mind starts swarming with new things.  It CAN be refreshing.  Getting the overall picture, working with students on foundations that need to be built at each level...it's truly invigorating.

So how about you?  Have you ever switched grade levels?  How big of a jump did you have to make?  What is one thing you like about it and one thing that you don't like?  The first person to comment (including their e-mail address) will receive a copy of my latest...September Math Centers!  They are geared towards K, 1, 2.  I'm teaching 1st next year, so that's who I have in mind as I am working on it.  I'd still love to hear from you even if you don't teach the primary grades.  Maybe you can give it to someone you work with?  :)  I'm still working on it, but it should be done in a few days.  I will e-mail it to you as soon as it's done.



Looking forward to hearing from all of you!  :)

17 comments:

  1. Hi! I just gave you an award! Stop by my blog to pick it up! Teacher Mom of 3

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sarah, several years ago, I made the move from 4th grade to 2nd grade. I liked the thought of getting them younger and developing a stronger foundation early on. Coming from 4th, I knew what they needed to come to 4th grade knowing so that helped as well. Definitely the worst part of changing grade levels is the moving of classrooms and trying to get familiar with the new materials and curriculum. Good luck Sarah!

    Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff
    jamie_rector@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm moving from 1st to 3rd after teaching First for three years and not ever teaching 3rd! eek!!! I'm scared and excited at the same time! Your resources help people like me A TON!!! I hope the transition will not be that bad...On the up side, half my class has already been in my (1st grade) class before! So that might make things a little bit easier? I'm sure I'll find out soon enough!
    Thanks! =)

    laurenbrascho@gmail.com
    laurenmurdoch86@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was in teacher heaven in third grade, I taught it for four years. I had the perfect team, LOVED the age group, and had to move a week before school started last year to a new school and grade level. I'm changing grade levels again this school year, but to fourth grade, I LOVE older elementary kiddos. Like you, even though I really didn't like teaching second grade, I really LOVED seeing how second grade and third grade fit together. You're also so true that changing grade levels pushes and you and does make you a better teacher. By glancing through your blog and store, it looks like you're going to be so ready for first grade! :)
    Lisa
    Fourth and Ten
    Like Fourth and Ten on Facebook!
    Formerly Stories From Second

    Lisa
    Fourth and Ten
    Like Fourth and Ten on Facebook!
    Formerly Stories From Second

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Sarah...I am not only changing grade levels, I am changing positions. One part of my job will be working with Level 3 RTI kids in K-5. Now I'm fine with the K-2...but 5th?? That scares me just a little - LOL. Anyway, I just found your blog and am now a follower. I'd love for you to visit me back at www.adventuresinteaching.net
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am moving from 7th grade math down to 3rd or 4th - still don't know exact grade yet. It will be extremely different to have the kiddos all day long and have to prep for more than 2 classes.
    Good luck! I am your newest follower from Wild About Teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  8. OMGosh Sarah! I am in the same boat. I have taught a different grade every year of my teaching career. I am moving to 2nd this coming year. What are you doing to get ready for this coming year?

    ReplyDelete
  9. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one changing and that I'm not the only one freaking out, haha! Kelly - moving from 7th to 3rd or 4th???? Holy cow, that's quite a jump! And yes, I would imagine that would be overwhelming teaching the same kiddos all day every day when you're not used to it. Good luck to everyone! We can do this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am a special ed teacher. I have been in 2nd grade for 12 years & am moving down to 1st grade. I know how you feel about switching - excited, nervous, overwhelmed...

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have an impressive resume! Seriously! I am certified to teach PreK-8, but I've never veered farther than 1st. Plus, I adore kindergarten!

    I'm trying to reframe my expectations back to the beginning of the year--potty accidents, untied shoes, fretful parents, etc. This week, I realized I am longing for the incoming first-graders, my darlings from last year. Hopefully, your students will enter your room with an excitement for learning! Have a wonderful first day :-)
    ReadWriteSing

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm starting my 5th year and I've switched grade levels four times, too!! I think it definitely makes us better teachers! You've been lucky enough to stay in the same room though?? I've also switched rooms four times!!!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  13. My boss just posted a link to this blogpost in our staff newsletter!

    Alyssha
    Teaching and Tapas: 2nd Grade in Spain

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, Alyssha! That's so cool! :) Thanks for letting me know that people really do read my blog, haha! Hope you're able to find some encouragement. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for sharing your pros and cons. I have done ten years in third grade and four in second grade. Next fall I'll take the plunge to first grade. I teach third next to the Kinder rooms and I'm watching them walk down the hall and occasionally I sneak in to see what they are learning. It has been a RUSH! I'm excited for the change and am finding new energies that have been lost for a few years.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I need help. I'm a parent that is leading a charge against an elementary grade school principal that is strong arming teachers in to changing grade levels and hence loosing some wonderful teachers at our school in the process. I need to know the protocol/criteria for changing teachers grade levels so I can go to the superintendent fully informed. Sadly, our teachers need the parents to fight for their jobs. He is a new principal that is splitting up the stronger teams in a power play that is unacceptable to parents and teachers alike. Thanks in advance for your advice.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hire a group of certified hackers for all forms of hacking. PROOF of access before any payment is made
    Email: botnetoracle@gmail.com
    Web: http://botnetenterprise.yolasite.com/

    ReplyDelete