1. I stay up later...and sleep later!
Since my start time for school is now 8:50 instead of 7:15, I find that I am staying up later (usually watching Netflix while grading) and sleeping in until at least 5:30 on most days. I usually arrive at school between 7:00-7:10 and try to get all of the "teacher stuff" finished before my kiddos arrive. It's really nice having all of that morning time to accomplish things!
I finish teaching around 4:10 and usually don't leave until 4:45 or 5:00. I was used to staying after school for the musical at the middle school until 3:30/4:00, but not getting home until 5:30 is definitely new to me. My husband and I have had to plan better for dinners since we are usually starving when he gets home at 6:00, so we now are much better grocery shoppers and meal makers than before!
3. I have a fever...for...you know...little baby Tacketts now more than ever.
Being around little kids is so different than middle schoolers. Watching the kindergarteners and preschool tots toddle around the hallway makes me even more excited about having kids of my own! They are so precious! I don't know if I could teach kids that young just yet (after all, I'm still adjusting my sense of humor to match elementary darlings) but seeing their cute art on the walls, seeing how excited they are just to wave at you, and hearing them ask the sweetest questions like, "Do you like snow Mrs. Tackett?" for no reason at all makes my heart melt.
4. I have a new love for teaching and a new respect for the profession.
Teaching all subjects gives you such a broader perspective on so many things, and makes me wish I had had that opportunity with many of my middle school kids. I have such a deeper understanding of my students' strengths and weaknesses. I also have a new appreciation for elementary school teachers and how many hats we have to wear during the day. Having the same kids all day long changes you as a teacher. You are a counselor more often than not, and you have to be a master at not just one subject, but many! My day FLIES by and is never monotonous or dull now!
Being an elementary school teacher allows me to be more cutesy than before. I can get excited about stickers and bulletin boards and smelly bookmarks and holiday themed sunglasses and socks from the Dollar Spot and no one makes fun of me. Making anchor charts, decorating my classroom, all of that cute stuff gives me a rush! :) Yesterday I came home from Target with Christmas Tree sunglasses and stickers and my husband just laughed and smiled. I'm right where I belong. :)
Having an entire day with my students gives me more freedom for character education and technology-two of my deepest passions in education. My school is doing a book study on "Leader in Me," and I definitely feel that my class is helping lead that movement. I also started implementing Edmodo this week and found that I could use it way more than before at the middle school level. I even linked poems to Edmodo and had my students electronically respond to the poem using Edmodo! It was AMAZING!
Being a first year teacher all over again has been the most tiring and humbling experience. It's so great to have mentors and teachers I can look up to. I have less time to blog and cannot begin to tell you how glad I am that I finished my master's degree before making this switch! It's also exhausting to try and find that happy balance between work and home again...but I wouldn't trade it for anything!
8. I love holidays more than ever!
Being in an elementary building makes you love everything cute and holiday themed. Halloween was so much fun, and I can't wait for more activities centered around Thanksgiving and Christmas!