As I finished my degree and worked in first grade, I quickly recognized the unique challenges of teaching first grade. First graders enter the school year on so many different levels! It can be overwhelming. Some students have had years of preschool and full day kindergarten and they are hungry to continue learning more, devouring each lesson and ready to tackle the next challenge. Unfortunately so many others haven't had preschool and had only half-day kindergarten. They are often missing letter recognition and sounds, they are unable to recognize sight words and sound out new words. Although I loved kindergarten, I quickly realized that first grade was where I needed and wanted to be.
When this opportunity came to teach at Wallin Elementary I knew that it was a dream come true. I've been teaching middle school math, which was great, but I missed the kinder and first graders. I finished my master's degree in Teaching and Technology and now I'm ready to take what I've learned and explore the potential of technology as a learning tool for first graders.
I'm feeling nervous and excited again, and I wake up every day with a big smile thinking of all of the possibilities of teaching first grade!