One of my all time favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. When I was a teen I couldn’t get enough of his books. Now that I am older and have children of my own, I am excited to introduce them to the worlds that C.S. Lewis created. It always amazes me how a book can transform you and even when you pick it up again, years later, you still get those same feelings like you are reading it for the first time.
At the end of this school year I felt that it was time for me to make a change. Having finished my fifth year of teaching Kindergarten, I had an urge to branch out and try something new. I approached our school leader and shared my thoughts. He was very excited and offered me some helpful suggestions in making my decision on what grade to choose. In my mind, I was focused on 1st or 2nd grade, but couldn’t decide which one. He made the point that 1st grade wasn’t really that much of a difference from Kindergarten and maybe wouldn’t feel like the change I was looking for. After weighing all the pros and cons, which is something that I end up doing for almost every decision I make, I decided that 2nd grade would probably be my best choice.
So in my mind I am all set. I know what I want and now it’s just a matter of my mind starting to plan for next year. What kinds of things would I need that I didn’t already have? Would I get some of my past students? Then a week or so later I am waiting to use the bathroom in my small window of time during my student’s lunch and I see my school leader in the hallway. He stops and asks if I’m busy during planning today, “Not at all,” I say, since you know nothing ever really gets done during planning time anyway. He asks if I can meet with him briefly about something, to which I reply, “Sure!” This is what ensues in my mind the moment he walks away:
Why does he want to meet with me?
He didn’t look mad, did he?
Great! Now I’m going to stress about this until planning.
Well, the time came and as I went to meet with him the questions still ran through my mind. Once I sat down in the office and he asked the question I had no idea that that was what it was going to be. The question was, “Well, since you’re already thinking about going to 2nd, what do you think about 3rd?”
Mouth hanging open, close it, quick. Isn’t that kind of an important grade? No way! I am not teaching 3rd grade. He must be crazy. So after I regained my composure he explained that he thought I would do really well in 3rd and that they needed to have a strong team. Ok, so that made me feel good. I told him that I would really think about it and get back to him. Even as I left the office my mind was saying, “I am not teaching 3rd grade!”
Then, after having some time to process, I emailed and asked if I could do some classroom observations in both grades. I thought maybe that would show that I was seriously thinking about my choice, when really my mind was still set on 2nd. So I spent a day in and out of classrooms observing some awesome teachers interact with their students. When the day was done I could not believe where my heart was pushing me.
There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that says, “There are far, far better things ahead then any we leave behind.” While I felt that my mind had been made up, actually seeing the things that I could accomplish with 3rd graders sparked something in me. It made me feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the challenge. God had something bigger and better planned for me all along and you would think I would know better by now then to just try and figure it out on my own. Duh!
So now, here I am, ready to be a 3rd grade teacher this coming school year. I am excited, scared, thrilled, terrified and any other emotions that go along with those. This starts a new chapter for me and I am looking forward to the far, far better things ahead.