This may be long.... Almost everyone at my school believes that I will be moved to a higher grade for next year. I honestly don't know. I've taught 1st grade for 5 years now. I never saw myself teaching "firsties." Rather, I saw myself leading literature circles, lol. Instead, I'm teaching first graders who come to me severely lacking in the skills that they should have learned in kindergarten. I love my kiddos, don't get me wrong, but they are so behind, that I spend most of my time on interventions and progress monitoring, and don't have time for things like writing anything more than a complete sentence (and a friendly letter). True, most of my babies show HUGE growth over the year (2 have shown none - true flat-liners), but it's just not where I saw myself. I have invested tons of money into teaching 1st, and starting new in a new grade could be expensive. All that being said... teaching a higher grade could be... interesting! 4th & 5th graders are just beyond that concrete operational stage, and can predict consequences before they act. They can also understand some logic. In addition, on day one, they know what they are supposed to do (even if they do not do it). I do NOT want to teach middle-upper elementary math. If I move "up," I want to be departmentalized and teach ELA and reading. I already have some books that would work in a classroom library - but not many, and not class or group sets. (And I have no credits on Donors Choose). I LOVE to teach writing. Not creative writing, so much, but essays and paragraphs and such - just the kind of thing they want on the "high stakes tests." Then there are the tests. It will be 5 years before the 5th graders at my school are truly prepared for the Common Core (having had it since pre-k or kindergarten). Most of our students range from extremely low to middle-range in ability, and have few resources at home. (Seriously, we have a 3rd grader who still can't read basic 1st grade sight words, but because he was held back in 1st, won't be held back again until next year. We (the teachers) have been fighting to get him into SPED for 4 years that I know of, but we were stymied by (1) a former P who didn't believe in SPED testing and (2) drug-addicted parents who never show up for the meetings!) The degree to which my performance will be tied to that of my students on "the tests" is a little scary. In the past, there have been questions regarding mountain hiking. Most of our kids don't know what that is. Their range of experience is so limited! If there were going to be a "pre" test (1st of the year) and a "post" test, I would be more relaxed about it, because it would show my students' growth while under my tutelage. As it stands now, 3rd & 5th graders take the iLeap, and 4th graders take the Leap exam. All will be taking the PARRC tests eventually. I know, I'm rambling. I think I'm kind of trying to work it all out in my mind. The problem is, I don't think I know enough about the other grades and how they work. I went directly from receiving my certification to 1st grade, and al-though I have begged for the past 5 years, I have been unable to observe teachers in other grades. I student taught 3rd grade for a fall semester, but that was before Common Core and COMPASS, so it might mean nothing. Any thoughts or ideas?