Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers 

Today is the first day back after Christmas break. It is always a bit of a tough morning for my children––both those at home and those I will soon see in the classroom. I plan to start my classroom children with a One Little Word activity to get them thinking about a focus for the year. My students only see me once a week, so I must pack a great deal into that 50-80 minute time frame.

This time or lack thereof is a constant reminder for me to be planned and ready. It has it’s drawbacks to be so planned, sometimes I cannot be as flexible to what kids need in the moment as I wish to be. Sometimes they must wait a week and then, often, the moment is lost.

It is difficult to be a “pull out” teacher. There are critiques at every turn. Why do I seem like I have so much non-teaching time? Why don’t I have to assess as often? My answer (if I was asked instead of talked about when not present) would be that my non-teaching time is consumed by obsessive planning time designed to make every second with children count. I assess every moment because I cannot leave it to the next class. And, finally, I work behind the scenes to help administrators and other teachers understand that there are different ways to help gifted kids that might be better served in a different teaching model.

Today is the first day of school in 2017. It might be tough, but I will help the students I teach learn during every minute of the time they spend with me.