I have never experienced a dread-free work experience before this. This is also the first time I've worked with a staff that is truly selfless and caring toward each other. But that is only half of it...a huge part of the job is the amazing kids I got to spend time with every week. I had the best group of kids imaginable.
I still pause when describing myself as a "preschool teacher" as if maybe it isn't quite true yet even after an entire year on the job. And as any first year teacher can tell you, it wasn't all roses and cupcakes. Sometimes I felt completely bewildered about lesson plans or how to fulfill my role in the well-oiled machine of procedures that I jumped into. Sometimes I soared, other times I limped by...but overall I am deeply pleased with this year and feel incredibly blessed by all the experiences it brought.
I wrote those first 3 paragraphs before leaving for the end of year picnic. Now I am back from that and have more to add about the special group of kids I had this year and their families. They surprised me with a Shutterfly book! Each of the kids has a page of photos and a drawing they made and some questions they answered about me. It's the sweetest thing. I took one look, held out for about 5 seconds, then burst into tears. It's really one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.
It's especially cool because I made each of them a memory book full of photos and words of love and had no idea they were doing the same thing for me.
So now I have one year under my belt and I look forward to a new school year (after a nice break!!) and all the new adventures it will bring. I have a long list of "Next year....." in my mind. There are plenty of ways I can continue to grow and improve as a teacher. And there will be a whole new group of students to get to know and love.