The Second Love of My Life…part 2

still in first grade...

still in first grade...

When I left off with part one of my story, I had been working as a first grade paraprofessional for a year and a half.  I had discovered that I loved teaching and working with children–and to this day I still consider it the second love of my life.

I was very fortunate for a very long time.  I was able to work in the same grade with the same teacher for 15 years.  We had an extraordinary relationship.  We were very much alike.  After we’d worked together for a while, I knew what she needed before she even asked me.  We worked together flawlessly and I think we made a great team.

She was a very dedicated teacher.  She never left at 3:30.  She worked late every day, getting things in order for the next day or the next week.  Many days I’d be right there with her, working late, even though she never asked me to.  We both believed in strict discipline.  We did have play time and fun time in the classroom, but it was controlled fun, and it was limited. 

Over the years, the teacher let me branch out and try my wings doing things with the children.  Each day we had reading groups and I worked with a group while she worked with a group.  It was then that I figured out that I should’ve been a teacher!  I absolutely loved teaching children to read!  I taught math groups, too, but reading was my true passion.  I loved watching the children build their reading skills.  I made up games in my spare time to help teach them sight words.  The children loved those games, and they learned sight words while we played. 

Every year brought a new group of students, and new challenges.  There were some difficult times, of course.  We had several memorable students with behavior problems–some of them caused trouble from day one, until they left school–and beyond!  Every now and then I will see a “mug shot” of a former student and remember how awful his behavior was in first grade.

I received a couple of “nasty notes” from parents during my years at school.  It’s amazing the things that parents put an emphasis on.  I got chewed out by one parent because I didn’t give her child a sticker for bringing back her report card!(because the card holder was all chewed up)  Another parent got mad because I’d taken her child’s hair bow(because she kept taking it out of her hair and playing with it during class).

The longer that I worked at school, the more responsibility they put on  paraprofessionals.  First we had to do lunch room duty(patrolling the cafeteria during lunch while teachers ate duty-free lunch), then it went from that to breakfast duty.  There was also selling ice cream duty and school store duty.  When the school budget got cut,  they started using us for substitute teachers.  Oh how I hated substitute teaching!  Everybody knows that children think that it’s “party time” when the substitute teacher comes.  I sent several “partiers” to the principal’s office in my day.

The last three or four years that I worked at school,  things were getting crazy.  There was the “no child left behind” law with too much emphasis  put on yearly test performance and attendance, in my opinion.  There was more and more paperwork for the teachers.  The government wanted less recess and more instruction.  By the time our students were in third grade, they didn’t get a recess–ust a quick bathroom/snack break.  I did not agree with that at all!  I don’t believe that an eight year old should be denied recess.  I had recess until I was eleven! 

 About the time we’d learn a new curriculum, it would be changed to something different.  I can’t tell you how many math programs that we went through while I worked there.  Reading was the same way.  We went from teaching health, science, social studies, spelling, and handwriting– to not teaching health, science, social studies, spelling, and handwriting!  I tell you it’s crazy!  You may be thinking, are you kidding?… No I am not! …to be concluded on Thursday!

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 9:23 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can totally relate to the “mug shot” thing. I’ve worked as a secretary for the Christian school where my children attend for 10 years now and I can tell you there are definately some that leave an impression.

    • Yes, I guess there are mug shot characters everywhere, unfortunately. They seem to be growing in number, too! Thanks for being a reader and for leaving comments. I appreciate that very much! Kathy from “Reflections”

  2. Kathy, I would have loved you being my childrens teacher. Blessings,

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