This week was a wild one. It was conference week which makes for a couple of long nights anyway but we were also informed on Monday that we were losing one of our 2nd grade teachers. This meant some classroom adjustments would be made. Monday afternoon when I went home, I was a 3rd grade inclusion teacher. Tuesday morning when I arrived back at school, I was planning to make the transition to be a 2nd/3rd grade combination classroom. Talk about a whirlwind!
It's been a hot minute since I have taught 2nd grade (2011-2012) , but I have taught a split classroom before so that helps. Since I also have the training and expertise in working with EL students, it made the most sense to dissolve my inclusion class and add the 2nd graders to my classroom. It does mean, however, that I had to lose some of my current students and my co-teacher. It has been really weird for me to have so many adults around all the time, but I have adjusted somewhat so I know it will be super weird to not have my co-teacher there on Monday (she will be at our school, just working with another teacher).
Yesterday morning in my Facebook memories, up popped a post about how we had taken our students to ArtPrize the year before. As we were walking around downtown, two of my girls proclaimed that I was the mama duck and they were my babies following me around. That thought crossed my mind again yesterday afternoon as I brought the 2nd graders down the hallway to their new room.
Some context: first of all my room is far away from everyone else. Sometimes I refer to it as "lala land" because it's so far away. I don't see people because we are that far away. (But this room has windows with natural light and that's what I wanted after being in a dark room last year.) We are across from the cafeteria so on the other side of the room from the other 2nd grades.
I went down around 3 pm yesterday to get the 2nd graders so that Monday morning they would be able to just join our room and not have a disruptive start to the week by moving their things around. They had smartly put their books and things inside of their backpacks and have a few other things on their chairs (we needed the chairs so we took them with us). They had their book bags and their other things on their chairs and pushed them down the hall. I'm sure it was quite a sight to see! 14 second graders following me down the hall..and I thought about those girls saying they were my baby ducks. The 2nd graders might have been my baby ducks for a few minutes :)
I forgot how small 2nd graders can be! They are so little and adorable.
I'm not going to lie and say I think this transition will be easy. I think the first week or so might be incredibly difficult for us all actually. It's been a long time since I have balanced two grades and I've always had older grades in my splits (4th/5th grade)...alas, I have a positive attitude and am determined to do right for these kiddos. They need some time to adjust and get used to the routines in our room, but I'm also incredibly tenacious and will not do anything halfway. I will ensure that all of the kids have their needs met because that's what I'm paid for. More importantly that is what those friends deserve.