Sunday, May 20, 2012


Yesterday I tweeted the following:

Kathy Cassidy responded with this tweet:

I haven't been able to stop thinking about what she said. I completely agree with her that first grade teachers are addicted to that progress and that it is not the same in any other grade. It is certainly true for me. I have taught grades 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 in addition to 1st grade and I can say that students do show lots of growth in those grades but Kathy is right -- it is just different in 1st grade. The change in 1st graders from the beginning of the year to the end is quite dramatic. I find myself awed when I take a moment to step back and just watch them. I have been able to capture a few of those moments recently.

This moment is the one that I tweeted about yesterday. Cole had a new book from our school's book fair and was reading it to a group of kids during snack time. This happened several days in a row.

Then on Friday, I was conferring with students during Writer's Workshop and just happened to notice how very engaged all of the students were. I jumped up and grabbed my iPad to capture the moment. We have come so far since the beginning of the year. They are all so independent now and have many ideas that they want to write about and share. As I was walking around I also noticed how much their writing has changed over the year - conventions, content, handwriting - all of it is vastly different from where we started in the beginning of the year.

These are the moments we live for as teachers. They keep us motivated and inspired. We need to be sure to take the time to find these moments in each day.


  1. Well said. We need to appreciate those moments when they come.
    Despite the heavy expectations and incredible work that it is to teach grade one, many teachers who try it keep wanting to teach it another year. The opportunity to see and reflect on the students' incredible growth by the end of the school year is heady stuff. I truly am addicted to it.

  2. Great post Jill. I love how much growth I see with my grade one students over the course of school year. Sometimes I forget where my students have come from, particularly with those that are not meeting grade level expectations at this time of the year. I get discouraged that I haven't done enough for them but when I look back on how far they have come, and where they initially started their journey with me I am amazed. Grade One is a very rewarding grade to teach and while it may be one of the most difficult grades to teach the rewards received for teaching it make all the hard work well worth it.

  3. I love this post - and the phrase "addicted to the progress." I find it so true when describing first grade teachers. It is always so hard to let go of 'my class' at the end of each year because of what I witnessed over the past 9 months.