Yesterday I observed a kindergarten class and I was beat afterward. It was actually pretty cool because it wasn't just any kindergarten.. I observed the awesome teacher who taught me kindergarten. Just in time too because she retires after this year. It was crazy how many things in that room were exactly the same and how many were incredibly different. The room felt so much smaller now that everything is about knee level to me.
The weirdest part was how advanced kindergarten is now. They were doing things that I wasn't doing until first or second grade! When I left kindergarten, I could read okay, but I think that was mostly due to the fact that I read a ton at home. I could basically write my letters and numbers and maybe some three letter words. These kids had a science lesson on frogs in the morning and in the afternoon they were writing a three sentence story about what they learned! Crazy! Some needed a lot of help with spelling but others were pretty independent. And they were all obsessed with reading. The teacher told one girl who was probably the best reader to show me how well she read so she grabbed her favorite Curious George book and read it flawlessly. Before I knew it there was a whole line of kids behind her waiting for their turn to show me how they could read. They all have such confidence at that age! It's pretty amazing.
So now I've seen kindergarten and 4th grade. I'll be certified to teach K-6 when I'm done. I'm still not sure which end of the age spectrum I'd prefer but I'm getting a good feel for the different capabilities and up/down sides of different ages. As I've been told by many teachers, K-4 is a little harder to engage and keep their attention but they still have that love of learning and like their teachers. 5th and up is easier to manage and get things done with, but they're starting to get a little too cool for school (literally) and with that comes a 'tude and loss of interest in doing work.
I still have much observation ahead of me so I have time to figure it out but at least I don't dread any of it so far. Ideally I want to be okay with the idea of any grade so that I have more job opportunities. I've seen people who only love one grade and then they either struggle with finding an opening or are miserable when they get moved to another grade because of changes in the school.
Hope everyone is having a good week so far! I can't believe it's Wednesday again. I only have a week until finals! Eek! I can't believe my first semester of grad school is almost over. It seems like just yesterday I was having a meltdown over a possible career change. ;)