Teacher for the Day. Reflections from a Principal turned Kindergarten Teacher. #HackingEarlyLearning

Jessica Cabeen
February 03, 2018

Jessica Cabeen

Nationally Distinguished Principal - Dream Big, Live Colorfully, Lead Boldly
Education Motivation

The 2006-2007 school year was the last time I was listed as the teacher of record for any classroom.  In November a veteran teacher met with me and asked me to sub in a class to get a feel for what teaching is like today. I took this to our Site Team to ask-would any other teachers want me to sub for the day? 16 teachers responded yes-so the principal has now become the teacher for 5 of the 16 days so far.

So for 1-2 days per week through March at 8:00 am I walk into a classroom, review lesson plans, and teach. The classroom teacher has the day to complete peer observations, progress monitor/assess students, work on a project that has been sitting on the shelve, or assist another classroom with a task-a new seating arrangement-or new small group learning activities.

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Teaching after all this time is like working a different set of muscles.

The instructional day was packed with activities, stories, social skill teaching opportunities, and connections with students. The routines and structures that the teachers have set in place provide the consistency students needed to be successful when a new face replace their teacher for the day. The students have loved seeing their principal trying to be their teacher-and since subbing in rooms I have made deeper connections to those classes.

Students love to see the school leader learning and making deeper connections with them today than they had yesterday.

Morning greetings are more meaningful as I can be more specific with questions about what they are learning in content areas because I taught it the day before. It was also exciting to use the technology tools we have been learning about in professional development. My Seesaw PD in PJ’s was handy as students reflected on the life of a penguin with their accounts, I was able to navigate between the teacher created SMARTboard lessons and the Zones of Regulation check in’s and mindfulness activities on the internet.

Today I am back to my day job. I am fortunate to have an incredible office manager that can handle the days I am subbing and create a schedule for the week that affords me the time to have these opportunities. So far I haven’t lost any children (the one child just went to the bathroom instead of following me to the gym-so I was told that didn’t count), every child has gotten home off the bus (never mind that one day we held busses for 5 minutes so I could call the bus company to confirm a new address and drop off) and I have averaged an 8 minute lunch.

5 days down, 11 more to go, I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow (can you tell we have been studying poetry this week?)

Dream Big-Live Colorfully- Lead (and teach) Boldly,

Jessica

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