When I first started teaching in 2000, I was teaching Title I Math to small groups of 3rd – 5th graders in Springfield, Missouri. I also worked half of my time as a 5th grade Teacher’s Assistant. Let’s just say I loved my Title I Math job, being an assistant might have been one the hardest jobs I had ever done (I think I graded papers 3 hours a day!). At the end of the school year, they let me know that if I wanted to stay a Title I Math teacher, I would have four schools and I probably could not get a position being a new teacher.
Luckily my wife and I had already planned to move to North Carolina (without jobs) and start our life there. We hit the ground running and I took the first job that I interviewed for. It was for a 6th grade Math position. I taught there for four years and they were some of the busiest years of my life. I experienced a lot of tragedy there. One of my favorite students passed away from diabetes the year after I taught him. The town the school was in the country, and I found it difficult to reach a lot of the kids. Then there were the thirty-some “gifted” students and their parents. I also had a very tough supervisor. When I left after four years, I never wanted to teach middle school again. It was just emotionally draining.
So fast forward ten years and I decided to head back into teach 6th grade Social Studies. A principal who I really enjoyed working for, had an opening so I took it. I was so nervous to be teaching something I felt so rusty on. It ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made.