Friday, August 22, 2014

A Comparison

All this week, I've been sharing school-related things.  On Monday, I shared the Top 5 hits from 1988--the year I started Kindergarten.  Tuesday was my classroom set-up for the 2014-2015 school year.  Wednesday was my book review of The Chronicles of Narnia, and yesterday, I shared some tips that parents should know about teachers.  Today, as I'm mere days away from returning to my 6th grade classroom, I thought that I would share some of the differences and similarities between being a first grade teacher and a sixth grade teacher.

Note: ALL of the following pictures are from Pins I've pinned to my "The Life of a Teacher Board" on Pinterest.  You can find the links to their original homes there.  

Some things are true of teaching both 1st and 6th grades:

Yes, this happens to me, and yes, it happened in both first and sixth grade.  And yes, I usually immediately regret this decision.  Therefore, I almost always pick partners FOR my students, thereby crushing their hopes and dreams.... ;0)
Here are some things that are true of teaching first graders:

Celebrating the 100th Day of School is a BIG deal in first grade!  It was always a day of fun activities.  In sixth grade, I acknowledge the 100th day of school, but the day continues as usual.  I do, however, start my end of school countdown on this day!
That would be "hand sanitizer" in case you don't know.
I loved doing cute and fun science lessons with my first graders.  I thought this one about the butterfly life cycle would have been really cute!  I am not (and do not want to be) the sixth grade science teacher.
This was one of my first grade pet peeves.  I would often tell students that I would call on students who were sitting in their seats quietly with their hands raised.  In contrast, sixth graders would prefer that I stay as far away from them as possible.  ;)
I do miss teaching first grade sometimes.  I miss how excited they are at Christmastime.  My last year in first grade, I had an Elf on the Shelf, and I had so much fun placing him in the classroom for the kids to find when they arrived.  I miss that I could use the simplest gifts as rewards, and they thought they were absolute treasures.  I miss that they loved me unconditionally!  But I don't miss runny noses, the reading curriculum, or how I had to go-go-go to be "on" for these little ones.

I like that sixth graders are independent.  They don't need me every single second of the day.  I like that they can work independently with mostly guidance from me.  I like that we can carry on great conversations and that they understand my sarcasm.  I do wish they cared a little more about their grades, and that I didn't worry they may call me nasty names behind my back when they're unhappy with me.  But overall, I am truly happy to be preparing these students to head off to junior high.


Kim @ Kimberleys Quests said...

That first quote is so true, I always call them "my kids." I teach kindergarten now and I can relate to your first grade stories, but sixth graders scare me a bit, they are just so tall!!! But on the other hand the independence would be awesome!

Kristin said...

I always thought that second grade was the one grade I wanted no part in. Well, I survived it and now I'm convinced (after last year's observations) that 1st grade is the grade I want no part in lol.

We have a very complex system for shoulder partners (desks are organized by ability level) and 1s and 2s. 1s and 2s sit across from each other.

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