Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Fever

Hi Friends,

It's officially the first day of spring (YAY!) and I'm a quarter of the way through my spring break (BOO!). I didn't realize how much I've been neglecting my blog lately. To be perfectly honest, I just haven't felt as inspired as I usually am. Not just in regards to my job, but also in regards to things going on in my personal life as well. I recently received my "you might not be hired back" letter right before the break as a formality, since I am on a one year contract after all, and although I've been trying to suppress my worries and fears of being unemployed and not having my own classroom next year, the reality of it all has slowly begun to sink it. There is however, a transitional kindergarten opening up at my school next year and I literally threw my name in for teachers that were possibly interested in the position. It would take learning a new curriculum and working with students even more immature and younger than some of the ones I have now, but if it means being able to continue my growth as a teacher then I am ready to accept that challenge. May the odds be ever in my favor!

For those that don't know, transitional kindergarten (TK) is similar to but also a little bit different than preschool. The opening up of several TKs around my district actually, is due to Obama's federally funded initiative to expand and encourage quality early childhood education programs. So TK specifically looks at four-year old students who are close to but do not quite meet the Dec. 15 birthday cutoff (I believe the cutoff date may vary slightly by districts). For instance, if I were four years old and enrolling this year I would be placed in TK since I'm an October baby. Just imagine all the September to mid-December babies being placed in a classroom together. These children are little bit older than preschool-age students but not quite old enough for kindergarten. The idea is to give these students a head start by engaging them in a rigorous curriculum of their own that is not be misunderstood as a repeat of kindergarten curriculum. TK has its own curriculum so that when these students move into kindergarten they are not being taught the same content and are obviously, more prepared and knowledgeable of classroom expectations, norms, and routines, putting them at a great advantage in my opinion.

There is an ongoing debate about the current education system in which students are enrolled by their age. Some people argue that this actually stifles the learning of more mature and more developmentally ready students within each age category. I certainly see both sides and am still trying to figure out where my beliefs stand, but I'd be interested to hear some of your thoughts on the matter. Should students be grouped by age or should there be a different factor altogether or perhaps even none at all that determines the educational trajectory of our students?

Fingers crossed that I'll even be considered for this position next year and here's to the start of a wonderful spring! As a side note, my boyfriend and I got a chance to visit the flower fields in Carlsbad this past weekend, which aren't in full bloom quite yet, but was a beautiful, vibrant, and refreshing experience nonetheless. I highly recommend it! As always, thanks so much for reading.

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