I have always wanted to be able to work with someone who would be interested in planning together, sharing ideas and materials, etc. And for the first part of my teaching (I have been teaching for 10 years), I worked with wonderful people. It never seemed to be a “thing” though. To plan together, anyway. They were great at sharing things with me since I was a new teacher. We even had a room that was joined with a door. I loved that!
I relocated two years after I started teaching and was part of a K team with 3 classes. It didn’t seem to be a “thing” to plan together. One was older and retiring soon and she just didn’t seem to be on the same level of interest as I was with what and how we taught. The other was super sweet but also super anxious about a lot of things and liked the known rather than trying new things. She absolutely hated field trips.
After she left, there was another hire and we were down to 2 kindergarten classes. She was really nice and approachable but her class was a terror. It was a daily occurrence that I would hear children screaming in her room and other adults going in to help. It was more than one child and I think the population was a lot different than the school she came from. Reflecting on it, I should have offered her more help academically and with planning but I got the feeling she was more concerned with the behaviors and getting them under control which I couldn’t help much with.
She resigned after one year. I don’t blame her. With that resignation would come ANOTHER hire. I was keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps this could be one that I could work with like I had envisioned always doing. I was 6 months pregnant with Kenzie when I met her. We chatted and I shared my hopes of planning together and being “on the same page”. She seemed excited about the opportunity. Unfortunately, I was leaving for maternity leave in November and would be out for a couple of months. Not my ideal start to collaborating with a partner teacher.
She is still my partner teacher and each year we get better about bouncing ideas off of one another, sharing materials, planning, etc. It’s great to be able to work with someone like that. Someone who has the same passion for teaching and for our kids. She is also the one who talked me into doing this Slice of Life Challenge.
I know she will be reading this, so Jenna, thank you! 🙂