It has been way too long since I posted but, I have been busy. I had a lot of trouble getting out of the gates this school year. I began the year without an assistant as I took on a new hybrid position where I teach my own class and supervise 12 Early Head Start teachers. It was on the third day of school a substitute assistant finally came. She was an awesome help. She is a Head Start parent who has participated in our Parent Substitute Program (PSP) that provides a career ladder for our students’ parents to enter the early childhood education field. She received training from Head Start and then volunteered in classrooms to learn the ropes. By the time she came to my classroom she had a pretty good idea of what she needed to do to be a good assistant. She has a great attitude and is always willing to learn. We made a pretty good team.
But, all good things must end, at least where human resources are concerned. My wonderful substitute assistant was only to remain until the assistant that was hired to work with me could report to work. Due to some red tape snafus this wasn’t to happen until October 31st.
Happily my new assistant is awesome too. She has worked as an instructional assistant before, knows the ins-and-outs of working with children, and finally is really an awesome calming balance to my sometimes hype way of maximizing student engagement.
I can really only share how much I appreciate her teamwork by sharing what she did today.
I have been trying to organize our classroom for the past 8 months, since I took the position last February. I made a lot of progress but I had plateaued due to the constant pull of my supervisory duties combined with the usual challenges of working with children and families living in poverty. When this new super team mate showed up she began organizing the classroom almost immediately. She did it really well too. Labels in English and Spanish, re-arranged dramatic play, and materials culled from the shelves to make them more useful. She is literally the first assistant I have ever let change our classroom without oversight, though she gave me many opportunities to provide it.
Then I gave her the hardest challenge yet. When I took over the classroom one of the materials that was spread like a diaspora was our classroom library. Books were everywhere. I found them in boxes of pencils with crayons and some photo copies thrown in, under boxes of odd blocks, and buried deep in a cabinet with laundry soap on top. She has been working for two weeks on organizing our classroom library.
Today I was out sick. At about 2:00 I got a text from her with the picture above with the simple caption “Progress!”. She has been alphabetizing and cataloging our library everyday for two weeks. There are so many reasons I appreciated this gesture I had to share. She kept working on the project even when I wasn’t there. She knew I would want to see her progress even though I wasn’t at work. This tells me she knows where I am coming from in my practice, I care, even when I am not there. And, she is committed to our classroom’s success at a very personal level.
I am so happy I have somebody I can count on. Next project, our literacy center. I will put up pictures when we get it done.