This summer was quite unusual. We decided to list our house to see if it would sell, and it sold in 8 days. Then we had to find a new home. In the midst of looking for a new house, I applied for two jobs in the district where we live. One was for a reading specialist, which I do now, and the other was for 8th grade English.
As I sat in the interview for the 8th grade English position, I pondered why in the world was I there and remembered back to all of the reasons I am NOT in the classroom anymore.
A few months ago a co-worker asked me if I missed being in the classroom. My answer was a quick "No!" Why, you may wonder?
Four years ago I left the classroom to do what I love the most ~ work as a Reading Specialist. Though I still have a classroom of sorts, there are many aspects I don't have to worry about as much. Those were the things about teaching that took time away from those parts of life I enjoy the most: family and fun!
Here are the reasons I left the traditional classroom and won't go back!
1. Stacks of papers to grade.
I used to spend 3 hours every Sunday afternoon grading papers. Now that my kids don't require naps, I can enjoy those three hours with them.
2. Testing! Need I say more!
3. Setting up a classroom. Some people love this, but I don't enjoy writing name tags and putting the kids' names on everything.
This drives me CrAzY! I always got everything ready to find out a kid moved, or a new student moved in.
4. My dealings with parents are much happier.
When I talk to parents, I am there to help their children. They listen to my advice and take what I say to heart. I have data (which I did before) to back up my findings, and they realize that they can work with me and the teacher to help their children. It's a good feeling!
5. I get to teach my favorite subject all.day.long!
I love teaching reading and watching the kids blossom into stronger readers. I get to go to classrooms and help every student and guide their reading. It is fun.
6. I see people, real people!
I go from room to room and see smiling faces all day long. I love seeing my colleagues as they go from place to place. I love not being stuck in one place all day long.
7. Behavior problems are almost non-existent.
I don't have a lot of problems with children because my groups are small, lessons are quick, and most of it is fun. There is no time for students to misbehave because I have 30 minutes, and every lesson is fast paced or I am in the classroom with the teacher's guidance in discipline.
8. And the best part of my job is that I get to watch my students grow as readers from the time they enter kindergarten until the day they leave in fifth grade. I can't do that in a traditional classroom!
These students steal my heart and make me smile as I tell them each year that they have grown as readers and that their journey is just beginning.
So, would I go back to the classroom? If I had no choice, yes, I would. But for now, I am enjoying my journey as a reading specialist and will stay with it as long as I can.