Moving to 1st grade?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by DrivingPigeon, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 3, 2010

    I posted this in the K forums, but I thought some of you would be able to help me, as well.

    I have been thinking about this for the past few years...There is a first grade teacher who will be retiring probably either this year or next. I told my principal that I am interested in either first or second grade someday if there is ever and opportunity for me to move up.

    The problem is, I don't know what I want! Last year I would have moved to first grade in a heartbeat, because my class drove me CRAZY!!! This year, I LOVE kindergarten. I love it so much that Fridays make me sad, because I won't be at school for 2 days (I know, I'm crazy!). I feel like I'm finally falling into the swing of things, since it's my third year teaching K.

    Part of my indecisiveness is that first grade scares me a little. It seems like one of the most difficult grades to teach. Also, the other two first-grade teachers are AMAZING. They are probably the best teachers in my school, and I would feel very intimidated working with them. They don't stay at school past their 8 hours (they work a lot from home), so I don't know how much I would be able to ask and learn from them.

    I just don't know what to do, and I know that I'm the only one who can make the decision for myself...I thought I'd check to see if anyone has taught both grades and could give me some insight. Thanks!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 4, 2010

    I loved first grade when I taught it, but I've never taught K. I loved the spark when they first learned something (especially breaking the reading code). I loved the stories that they shared and the projects that we made. It definitely was fun but an enormous amount of work.

    I moved up to sixth grade to have students with more independence but find myself missing 1st graders. However, if I left sixth grade, I would miss the sarcasm and wit of my students. So, it is always a balancing act. You find what you like doing and think that the grass is greener, but its not usually.

    If you make the change, go all in and no that you can always decide to move back down again.
     
  4. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 5, 2010

    Well everyone is different, but I personally love first grade because they have a lot of the same innocence and sweetness of kindergarteners, but they are more independent and mature (ie: not crying so much or doing silly stuff) like second graders.

    they're determined to act like "big kids" so they enjoy being challenged and given responsiblity.

    to me, kindergarten seems like it would be much harder to teach because the kids don't have much foundation and are unable to work independently. they are also not used to sharing and for many of them, kindergarten is their first real school experience.

    with first graders they're pretty used to the routine of school and understand how to sit quietly on the carpet, to raise their hand, not to wait until they are literally about to pee on themselves to ask to go to the bathroom, etc.

    they also don't tease as much as second graders. they're gentler with each other and very supportive. they LOVE to work with a buddy and are all about community. if one person gets hurt or needs help, i've got like 10 kids jumping up to come to their assistance.

    my higher kids also like to help the lower level ones and are patient rather than mean like, "ha ha you can't do _________ as well as me so you're dumb."

    i am going on a tangent, but first grade is really a wonderful age.
     
  5. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2010

    I moved down from 5th grade this year to teach first. I was intimidated by 1st because it's when they learn to read and I thought a really monumental year. I have taught second and loved it, and thought that was the grade for me. Can I just tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE first grade! Love it.

    I love it because the kids love you. It is easy to manage their behavior by positively reinforcing. I love that they still need you, but many are moving to more independent work habits and are great leaders for others. I love the way they speak their mind, but are still concerned about how others feel. They are beginning to realize that their actions/words do affect others.

    This is my second year teaching, and my first year teaching first. I tend to come in a little early, but usually leave on time. We use the Daily 5, so it cuts down a lot of the specific planning I had to do last year. I found this year that I am doing a much better job of managing my time.

    Anyway, I have only subbed in Kindergarten and I enjoyed it. But they are still learning how to be students. First graders are too, but have gotten a whole year's worth of exposure to routines. I LOVE first grade. =)
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2010

    I have found it has taken me three years every time I have started teaching a new grade level before I start really feeling confident; thus being able to start enjoying teaching that grade. When I taught fifth I did not teach a fourth year of fifth; but I had the same experience when teaching first. I have found every year since the third year of teaching first to be very enjoyable. My advise would be hold out another year or two before deciding to move if you are really enjoying this year. I have also found my second year teaching a grade level the hardest maybe just coincidence; but it also could be me being able to recognize the mistakes but not yet at the point of having a bunch of solutions.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 11, 2010

    Thanks, everyone.

    The thing that is bad (or good, I guess) about my school is that everyone wants to be here. Since I have started, there have been only 2 people leave because of retirements, and no one has left for a different school, despite numerous openings. We only have 5 elementary schools in my district, and people really want to be at my school. We also have a fairly young staff. The next person to retire is about 10 years away from retirement.

    So, if I don't take advantage of the opportunity next year, it may be quite a while before I could move again, unless I want to go to another school (which people tell me I don't want to do...). On the flip side, if I move to first and I don't really like it, I'll be stuck there for a long time.
     
  8. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Nov 11, 2010

    I just moved from K to 1st after three years in Kinder. I wonder how I ever made it! 1st grade is AWESOME!!!!!!! Seriously, I adore my class, their attitudes and their maturity. I would encourage you to jump ship if given the opportunity.

    My favorite part? Getting to actually teach in the first few weeks of school!
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 11, 2010

    I still vote for 1st, but that's coming from a 1st grade teacher.
     
  10. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 2, 2010

    So what did you decide and how is it going?:)
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 5, 2010

    I don't even know if the first grade teacher is retiring yet, so nothing will be discussed until maybe April.

    Thanks for asking! ;)
     

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