Top 5 ways to transition to a grade level change

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sometimes Spring can be the hardest time for a teacher:  we are dealing with Spring Fever, some are dealing with State Testing, some are hoping to get by without a pink slip and others are holding their breath wondering if they will be able to stay in their current grade level or not.  So many unknowns and to top it off you are tired and the kids are #checkedout.
So, what's the best way to deal with the possibility of a dun, dun, dun : GRADE LEVEL CHANGE.

If you are like me ( most aren't in this situation ) you are up for a change or challenge.  NOT every year of course but maybe every 7 -10 years.  I GET BORED guys!  I really do...I like the challenge of switching things up and hate to be stuck in a rut.  I'm not saying that if you've taught first grade for 25 years you are stuck in a rut - I'm just saying with my personality I could never do that.
So, what's the best way to handle the notification of a grade level change you ask....

Be professional!  Even if you are blind sighted and crushed remain professional.  I always try to remember --- this very simple never know when your admin may or may not come into your life again.  My favorite principal is now the District HR guy, we got along great!  Some of my teacher friends didn't so much, I just think it's important to keep relationships positive tenured or not.

Reach out to your 'new team' asap even if you are disappointed.  You want to start the relationships off right with your new team.  You don't know how long you'll be with them and you want to come across as a team player.  If it's near the end of the year and they haven't taken their planning day yet....ask if you can join them.  You can use that time to bond with them as well as have some questions answered and even learn more about what's to come.

Keep a positive/ growth mindset.  Just like you tell your students to have a growth mindset...have one yourself.  Practice what you preach.  Be open to the change ( unless of course you feel it was done unfairly - that's a whole 'nother blog post that would involve reaching out to your union )  Learn what you can about the new grade level, be prepared and positive.

Plan ahead - will you be moving rooms, will you need moving boxes, will you need desks instead of tables or will they need to be lowered to accomodate smaller kids, etc.  Look at the curriculum just a little over the summer - take a peek so you feel more confident.  I know, no one wants to do that but you can save it for the 11th hour the last week of summer if you must.

Think of it as the perfect time to re organize your cabinets and purge any unwanted/unused items.  You will have a sparkling new, freshly organized classroom in the fall that will make you so happy.  

Hopefully you are able to make the change with grace, your new students are so lucky to have you as their teacher!!!

You can join me here every week for my series:

  Happy teaching and good luck if you are changing grades this upcoming year! 

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