I am not a 4th grade teacher. I am a first grade teacher.
I have been a first grade teacher for 16 years. It is in my blood and my brain and my bones. I can recite first grade standards off the top of my head even after a full moon-holiday-Friday-before a break-pajama day-some kid didn't have his meds-day. While I clean up spilled milk, tie a shoe, and write a clinic pass. I've got the developmental intricacies of the six year old child down pat. Dear sweet mother of short vowel sounds, if I were a tattooed person, I'd probably have First grade tattooed on my first grade teachin' behind.
I am a first grade teacher, dang it!
Except that now I am not. Now I am a first grade teacher who has been
Fourth freaking grade, people!
I know many of you teach 4th grade, love 4th grade, and can't get enough of the fabulousness that is 4th grade. I have the utmost respect and admiration for each of you (especially the ones who taught my boys:)
But I am not a fourth grade teacher. (Remember all that first grade-got it all down-tattooed butt stuff? First grade teacher right here, folks.)
Now, I know what you're thinking.
Stop whining, you big, first grade baby. At least you've got a job and you're certified for fourth grade so just suck it up, buttercup.
And you are right.
But, you see, I have only progressed to the second Stage of Grief. Anger.
(I quickly moved through stage one (denial) when I had to pack up sixteen years worth of first grade crap and drag it all home in cardboard liquor store boxes.)
Stage two is much more fun than stage one. I have pretty much wallowed in stage two and it's working for me right now.
The third Stage of Grief is bargaining. Well, I can just skip right over that useless mess because there's no one with whom to bargain. The principal has spoken and that is that, apparently.
I suppose I could bargain with God, but I kinda used up my three wishes on that full moon-holiday-Friday-before a break-pajama day-some kid didn't have his meds-day. And it's pretty darn clear that my Guardian Angel has also been reassigned. She's probably watching over some poor middle school teacher.
So anger it is for now.
Although, I did get glimpse of Stage Four today. Depression.
When I was moving some of my stuff into the fourth grade classroom, I happened across a math book. A fourth grade math book. It had decimals it, people. DECIMALS! And multiplication. And long division. Good lord, I can barely type that without breaking into hives.
Clearly depression is on the horizon for me if I can ever break free of stage two.
Now, I have heard all the lovely, supportive, uplifting, motivating
bunch of crap (there's stage two rearing it's ugly head, again) encouragement that has been sent my way lately.
- You might grow to love it:)
- Your principal sees something in you that can't see.
- Everything happens for a reason - it will all work out.
- If you're a great teacher, it doesn't matter what grade you teach - you'll be great!
I sooo appreciate all the words of support and encouragement. I really do.
I'll come back and read them again when I reach Stage Five - Acceptance. If I ever get there.
That'll be the day that I am sprawled out in the tattoo parlor getting Maurice to figure out how to turn First Grade into a dragonfly fluttering across my backside.