Thursday, June 7, 2012
Ok. I know that most of you have said/think that I'm always bubbley or cheery, but yesterday something happened that put a little spin on things. If you don't know me well, let me tell you that teaching kindergarten is my knitch. Yes I am licensed k-3 and it might not seem like a big deal to you but kindergarten is my home. My place. My being. But my principal just moved me to 1st!

I was blindsided. I signed up for the kindergarten program this summer thinking that I was preparing the kids for myself this upcoming year, but I was far off.....

Little did I know that a week after signing my contract for the summer program, I would be told that this upcoming school year I would be teaching first grade. Yes it may not seem like a big thing to you, but it is to me. I'm devastated! I love my kinders with all my heart and hoped to teach there forever. In a charter school you never have solid ground and I wish I could say that I did.

I've been crying since I heard the news...
I don't know what to do.....
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Laura said...

I am so sorry and you are due a good cry! I feel the same way about my kiddos! You know you've found your place...I would feel blindsided, too.

If it makes you feel better, First Graders are just older kinders. They are just as funny and precious! My prayers are with you! Better days ahead.

Peace, Love, and First Grade

Taylor said...

I'm sorry to hear the news. I hate when things change with the blink of an eye like that! Hang in there and I trully believe that all things happen for a reason! I am sure that you will be a fantastic 1st grade teacher and think of it as a new challenge!

Tammy said...

I'm sorry. I'm sure I would be frustrated too if I were moved to a different grade. First grade is my home just like kindergarten is yours. I pray that you can find unexpected joy in this move and rewards that you wouldn't have ever thought could be yours.

❀ Tammy
Forever in First

Keeping it Captivating said...

It's unfortunate that you weren't given a choice, but stick with it. You will love first grade. First graders are sweet, helpful, fun, and love to learn. You can still do cute crafts, projects, and songs with them. Once you meet your new kiddos, you will fall in love and it will be okay!


Just Wild About Teaching said...

omg im sorry to hear sure you were confy in kindergarten but let me assure you as a first grade teacher myself...youll def love it !!

Just Wild About Teaching

Maria Youngblut said...

I know exactly where you are coming from except I am going down to kindergarten from second grade. I was blindsided too. I was called into the office and never in my life thought it was to be "asked" to teach kindergarten. I say "asked" because I don't think in the end I would have had a choice. I can tell you that I was upset that day - very upset. After a week, I was okay with the move and now I am looking forward to it. Try to think of the positives about moving up. That really helped me.

Good luck!!

Journey of a Substitute Teacher (Ms. T) said...

I love subbing in first grade, in fact, that would be my ideal position if there are ever any jobs opening up in my state.

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

Unknown said...

Change can be sooo very frightening. But, hang in there sweetie. I am being moved from second to third and I was a bit nervous at first, but then I realized that third is just an extension of the topics that I taught in second. When I feel overwhelmed at thought of teaching third grade I think that I am just going on to the next chapter and that seems to help.
I hope that it all works out for you in the end.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry that you are so sad. This is very hard news to hear at first. I've been moved so many times I feel like my head can spin. But, let me tell you this, it gets better. I promise. You will make a fantastic 1st grade teacher, you just don't realize it yet. What you know and love about Kinder will help you be a better 1st grade teacher than most. Does that make sense? I promise you that it will get better. Keep your chin up.


Fun in Room 4B

Lori Rosenberg said...

I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you had the rug pulled out from under you. I know how scary change can be and I know how upset you are. However, as someone who teaches kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, I can honestly say that first grade is my FAVORITE grade to teach. When the school year starts, Just think of it as an extension to their kindergarten year. They get even smarter and can do so much more. I know you're upset now, but, I can almost guarantee that you will be just as happy next year as you are now. I am so certain, that I'm willing to bet money! You name the price! LOL!

Lori (
Teaching With Love and Laughter

Teaching Little Miracles said...

Hi Jessica. Sorry to hear about your news. I know I would feel the same as you do about a grade level switch. You'll do great, though, I know. I only have experience in first and I have loved every minute of it.

Teaching Little Miracles

Heidi said...

I am sorry to hear of your news Jessica. It will take some adjusting, but you will love first grade. It is my FAVORITE grade to teach (that is where I am now and my first actual teaching postion). I have subbed every grade before and always thought that Kindergarten is where I wanted to be, until I had first and I am hooked. I LOVE it. You will do great I promise. Keep your head up and take each day as it comes. You will be an AMAZING First Grade teacher. I agree with someone above that 1st grade is just bigger Kindergarteners. They just know a little bit more and are a tad more independent.

Have a great night. I will pray that your transition is a smooth one.

My (Not So) Elementary Life

Krista Happ said...

My first year of teaching I was hired to teach fourth grade. I had student taught that grade and absolutely loved it and was looking forward to it. A week before the school year started they eliminated a section and told me that they wanted me to stay in the building but all they had open was first grade! First was never what I envisioned myself teaching, but I loved those kids, and I found myself enjoying primary when I wasn't sure I would! As teachers, I think we find comfort in certain grade levels for certain reasons, but who knows maybe first will be your nitch for a different reason than kindy! Good luck- everything will work out!

Cupcake said...

Aw I'm sorry girl! But I can assure you that 1st grade is awesome!!!
A Cupcake for the Teacher

2 Crazy Texas Teachers said...

Oh no! I am so very sorry for this sudden news! I would have the exact same reaction. Keep in mind that we all have a place and purpose. Maybe 1st is where you should be! Good thoughts coming your way during this tough time!

Doodle Bugs said...

Jessica, I am so sorry to hear this- and that you are so upset.

I realize to the rest of the world that kindergarten and first grade can not be that different.. but,I know they are!

First grade is MY love! And, I would not want to move to kindergarten...

The good news is that you know exactly where to pick up and start teaching.

I pray you come to peace with the move soon and start planning for a great first grade year.

I will be glad to help with any first grade questions.. {of course you realize it takes me FOREVER to answer emails!!} I sure don't know everything but I have lots of opinions :o)

Chin up! You are an awesome teacher and you will ROCK first grade!!

Doodle Bugs Teaching
Doodle Bugs Paper

Anonymous said...

Chin up, buttercup!

You have kinder and 1st grade bloggy friends to support and help you through this! You are going to be a STELLAR first grade teacher!


Carried Away in Kindergarten

Giggles and Squeals said...

Oh Jessica! Hang in there. I am a firm believer that God has a plan for us. Although you may be tear stricken now, you are going to LOVE it when you get there. Just think, you will probably know quite a few kids in your class from this year... and you can go deeper! The Lord has a place and plan, follow the path.

Go to the summer program with an outlook of spreading the news to all of us who couldn't attend.

Hang in there! BIG hugs to you!

Stacy said...

: ( I'm sorry that this happened so unexpectedly. I don't like change so I would be just as sad as you are now but I KNOW YOU WILL DO GREAT!!!!

I can tell you that I have had two friends of mine leave kindergarten kicking and screaming because they were both reassigned to first grade. Now they both LOVE it there and I don't think they will come back. Chin up,


Lisa at Fourth and Ten said...

I'm so sorry about this news! I felt the same way that you did about kindergarten about third grade and got transferred to second at different school with practically no notice. I didn't exactly love second, but my experiences as a third grade teacher made me a much better second grade teacher than I thought I would be. Your experience in kindergarten will help you in first! But I know that doesn't make the news any easier to swallow right now though. Hang in there...friend.
Stories From Second

Lisa R. said...

I'm so sorry Jessica! :( I know that it's got to be hard to leave something that you love to do (not by choice...) I can tell just by the work & effort that you put into this blog that you are an amazing teacher & you will do great no matter where you go. On the flip side, I have been teaching 1st grade now for 7 years and I absolutely love it. The kids are more independent & the strides that they make in reading alone are amazing. I know it's hard to probably look past the sadness right now, but try to think of it as expanding your horizons & hopefully you will love it even more than you think. You have a lot of blogger friends that will help you every step of the way!
If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask,
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Unknown said...

What a bummer Jessica...I remember how upset I was when I was moved from 2nd grade to 3rd grade in Florida. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I countered their offer by asking to loop with my kids since I had some special kiddos I didn't want to lose. It turned out to be one of my best years teaching. If they are going to move you, at least ask to take your kids. It is so nice to start the year with kids who know the routines and procedures and your expectations for their behavior. Plus you already know where they are academically and have built a relationship with the families. Best wishes...

Michaele Sommerville said...

I *hear* you Sister. You must be a wonderful teacher with a heck of a range if your administrator didn't have to think twice about putting the person s/he thought was best with next year's first graders: YOU.

On the upswing, is there any chance some your students from this year will "loop" up with you and be in your class as first graders?

Get in touch with your first grade team, get their curriculum map, and start getting organized so you feel like you have some control over this. But **after** you have a good cry and have eaten a whole cheesecake, okay?


Jessica said...

Awww! So sorry to hear that Jessica! But like everyone else is saying.. you will LOVE 1st grade! I was originally hired to teach it, but they moved me to kindergarten 2 weeks in my first year! And there are so many fantastic 1st grade blogs you can use too! (They make me WANT to teach 1st! haha) I hope things work out for you, as I am sure they will! You will be okay girl! When one door closes, another door opens! =)

Nicole Heinlein said...

I got moved to kinder this year and would rather teach 1st! Let's switch! :) I'm sorry you are sad. If you get to loop with your kiddos, it will be an amazing experience, though! Hugs!
Teaching With Style

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry, Jessica! I taught at charter schools for many years and we were moved around with the flow of enrollment.

Have a good cry, stomp your feet and yell at the wall! Then, know that you will be fabulous in first grade! I would love to be in your class!

Kelley Dolling said...

Jess . . . I heart you girl. Those "blindsides" are absolute killers. I know you've heard it a zillion times, but here it is once more. You are such an amazing teacher. Those kiddos will be lucky to have you. If you need ANYTHING, give me a shout.

Kelley Dolling
Teacher Idea Factory

Anonymous said...

I so totally understand where you are coming from. I have never understood principals who do this to teachers that are excellent and love what they are doing. I feel it so wrong in so many ways. Have your self some more crying jags. Give the summertime to heal your heart and know what you will be blessed by children who will love you.

Wolfelicious said...

So sorry you are having a bad day. I too love my kindergarteners, however just think how much more they will be independent than your kinders. Are you allowed to take some of your class with you to first? That may make it better for you.


Christine said...

Hang in there! It will all be o.k. As a sister in Christ there is a purpose for this move and God knows what it is! Trust in Him and know all will be well. Best of luck in 1st grade, that is where I had hoped to move in my small Christian school this year but not in the cards, I know He has a plan and wherever He puts me I know there is a purpose.

Take a moment to mourn your kinders and hit the ground running for your firsties, the more you do in His name the better your experience will be!

God Bless,

Susie Q said...

Change can be so hard, especially when you didn't request it. I'm moving to first grade this year too, but it was my choice after teaching second grade for 10 years. I wish I had something more helpful to say. We can learn first grade together!?!? If I can help you with anything, please let me know what I can do.

Learning With Susie Q

Jessica OConnell said...

Same thing just happened to me and I am trying to remember there is a reason for everything and that this is where I am suppose to be!


Unknown said...

I'm sorry you got blind sided by this one and it's OK to cry over it!! All I've ever taught if 1st grade and I spend a great deal of time in August mentally preparing myself for my incoming firsties, who are still very much Kindergartners when they come to me.(They are nothing like the little fristies I sent off to 2nd grade at the end of the previous year who are super independent in comparison)But this will be an advantage for you as you and your new class will get to transition together into first grade. Judging by the type of teacher I've seen you to be through this blog, I have no doubt you will fall in love with teaching first grade too. But like I said, I don't blame you at all for feeling this way now. Just know, many of the things you love about your kinders you will still find in your firsties!! Let me know if there's anything I can help you with as you make the transition.

Falling Into First

Katie said...

Oh no Jessica!!! Did your principal tell you why he's moving you? At my school, 1st grade is a BIG DEAL. My principal is always shifting people around because she wants the very best teachers for 1st grade - such a huge year for reading. It could be a wonderful compliment you're being moved. I'm sure you will do wonderful! Will you get to have some of the same kids??

Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

Kelli said...

Hello Jessica,

I'm sorry that you were blindside by this at the last minute!

The only thing I can say is that it will take time to sink in, and it won't feel so shocking as time goes by. I believe you will find aspects of first grade you love too and remember it's not forever! I started in kindergarten, then went to first for several years and then back to kindergarten!

Tales From a Traveling Teacher

Mrs. Wheeler said...

Ahhh! I feel the same about 1st...I would be crushed if I had to move. It must be so hard for you. You will LOVE 1st grade!!!!!!! It's awesome! I am always ready to answer questions if you have any! I've been doing 1st grade for 10 years. I even student taught in it. Best wishes on your new journey!

Tricia said...

I am so sorry. I hope that you will find joy in first grade. I know change can be difficult but I believe everything happens for a reason. I am sure you will be a fabulous first grade teacher.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jessica,
I know what you are going through- although I did know it was coming. This was my first year in first after being VERY happy in kinder. I will say that, although I was a complete kinder girl, I fell in LOVE with first grade and cannot see myself going back any time soon. This has been my favorite year teaching and have been able to expand my practice.

Change makes us better. It stretches our learning and adaptations. I know you are heartbroken, but believe that their IS a plan. You are needed in first for a reason (as I have found that I am). It may be for a sweet kiddo that you haven't even met yet and needs your devotion and kindness. Absolutely take time to mourn for a few days! Then, put on your big-girl pants and get ready for a new adventure to begin! We are all here for you!

New Adventures in First Grade

April Walker said...

First, I want to say that I love how supportive everyone is. Reading everyone's comments almost made me a little teary. Change is hard, especially when unexpected. Many blessings, and I am glad that at least you have the summer to start planning.

April @

Miss Sara said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. It is OK to be sad and def. OK to cry.
However, you have to remember that everything happens for a reason. I am a strong believer in this saying. For sure something good... scratch that... amazing! is waiting for you in first grade. You will have such a huge impact on these kids as you will teach them how to read :) You will be an amazing 1st grade teacher because you are an amazing teacher. A good teacher will be good no matter where she is. I am sure you will love it! People I know in grade 1 are in love with it and wouldn't change it for the world!
Good luck Jessica, you will be great! Stay positive :)
Miss Elementary

Miss Trayers said...

I sorry too that it happened the way it did. As others have said you are an amazing teacher! I taught 1st last year after teaching Kinder forever and actually enjoyed seeing what the expectations were there. I think it made me a better Kinder teacher to have that experience.


Andrea Crawford said...


I am sorry to hear it! I had the same thing happen to me 10 years ago when they "asked" me to to move to third grade (a testing grade) from fourth grade (a non-testing grade). I was worried about the stress but ended up loving them! The principal actually did it because she felt I was more equipped for the position, so maybe yours feels the same way. You will do well!

Reading Toward the Stars

Shar W said...

Change is scary, but can be a good thing- that happened to quite a few teachers for the upcoming year. 1st grade teacher going to 6th grade Science was the biggest jump. The next biggest move was between 2 teachers moving into each other's classrooms- 3rd and 5th- the 3rd grade teacher has been with 3rd grade for about 25 years- she was scared to death and went through the 12 steps- denial, anger, etc. Last day of closing up her classroom, she didn't want to lock her door. Think of the change as a way to recharge your love for teaching- chance to try some new things!
Good Luck with your new journey!

2nd Grade Glance said...


I had a very similar situation from 1st to 2nd (and a new school) I still miss 1st grade. It is the one grade that in the spring you see the most mammoth jump in their I'm sure. Just remember you have a world of wonderful resources at your finger tips! Not to mention a team of blogging buddies support! Jen A2ndGlance

Maggie's Kinder Corner said...

Jessica, I am so sorry you are experiencing the disappointment of a move. I would cry too, but then I would look forward to the possibilities of what you as a teacher can bring to those wonderful children! In a way, it is a gift to be able to see what happens after you have worked so long and hard to get your kinders ready for 1st grade. Andy, I would want to think the administrators see something very special in you to entrust you with first grade learners. Chin up, dear! I am praying for the best year ever for you and your family (both at home and at school)! Hugs!

Maggie's Kinder Corner said...

oops! Andy is my youngest son's name...I type it so automatically that it shows in my spelling occasionally :)

mary b. said...

I have taught both grades, with first grade being in my heart. Kinder is so joyful! However, you might get addicted to the progress you will see in first grade. (I have!) Once you move beyond the shock and disappointment, you will find a group of new blogs and 'new friends' supporting you on your new journey.

I am new to your blog via pinterest, yet can already tell you are a caring and dedicated teacher. I look forwarded as you document your learning, as well as your students' next year.

Sarah Hankinson said...

I'm so sorry! I have a similar story ... I had taught 4th grade for eight years when I was to move to sixth grade. During the summer I was moved to first! What a change, but I LOVE it! Wishing you the best.


Mrs. Shelton said...

Oh Jessica!!! I am sooooo sorry. I just read this. I totally totally feel you. Kindergarten is my home. It has been for 11 years and I hope it is for the 16 more years I have until I retire! I can only imagine how devastated you are. I believe in everything happens for a reason...whatever it may be. I've heard lots of stories of people who get moved to a grade they thought they would hate bc their principal thought it was best for them and they loved it!! I do know there are some FABULOUS 1st grade teachers in this blogging world that can help you and support you!!!

Julie H said...

Hey Jessica, I was in your position last year. I moved to 1st by necessity & spent the first few weeks hating it because there were so many workbooks that i was expected to use. Then there are the TESTS! My kindergarten teacher self could not stand this part! By the end of the first 9 weeks I chillaxed and actually liked it! I'll be in 1st again this year... But once the chance to go back to K happens... I'll be there! What I can say is this: the kids want the same kind of engaging lessons from kindergarten. Everything that makes kindergarten fun can be translated into first. I used the Debbie Diller stations method in 1st and it was a life saver! First Grade Parade is also a good blog to follow.

Unknown said...

:( I am so sorry, but things always happen for a reason! 3 years ago I was moved from 2nd(LOVED THAT GRADE) into 1st. I was sad, mad, and scared to death! All I kept thinking was "I have to teach these kids to read! I don't know how to teach kids to read!" Mind you, I'd taught K for several years, then 2nd for 5 years- of course I knew, I just couldn't fathom it. But anyways, I just wrapped up my 3rd year of 1st and I love it! Don't worry, it will all work out!
:) Dana
Stop by & visit me at Fun in 1st Grade

Heather's Heart said...


I would be a blubbery mess if I was told to move from 1st. Think of how Laura Story's song Blessings says that sometimes our blessings come through raindrop and our healing comes through tears. God put you where He needs you and you will touch the hearts of those kiddos too! =)

Heather's Heart

Rhonda said...

Hi Jessica,
I just read your post about being moved from Kindergarten to First Grade.
I am so sorry about your sadness and disappointment. You might find that Year 1 is not so bad. I often think that one door closes and another door opens. Think about where your Kinders are at the end of the year, all that training and hard work you put in. When you teach Year 1, it is an extension of Kinder. Year 1 is such a satisfying and rewarding year to teach as well. Here in Australia we move to different grades regularly. I usually only teach a grade for 3 to 4 years and then change. Try to be positive, you might even find you like teaching First grade. Good luck
Classroom Fun

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