Small Victories

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I am going to the archives for a few of my favorite teacher blog posts.  This is one I wrote in 2015 after my teaching world was rocked!




A few months back, my teaching plans were thrown for a loop. After years of teaching fourth grade language arts, I got the news….

5th grade

all subject areas

including math



For whatever reason, math just isn’t my thing.  I was a decent math student in school. But having to do math on the fly is difficult.  I need to write it out, think about it.  Check my work.  Math was a private matter because I lacked confidence.  I knew I was better with words.  Reading them. Writing them.  Words were my thing.

Needless to say, my new teaching position within my school brought me much anxiety.

But here I am. Thirteen days into the new school year. I’ve taught 10 days of math.  Although I am totally behind where most of the other teachers are, I am refusing to compare myself to them.  I am, after all, a first year teacher with 15 years experience!  I am a brand new math teacher.  I am learning the content. There is no way I can teach it and keep up with the teachers who’ve made a career out of it already.

I can only do what I ask my students to do.  I am doing my best.

I’m taking it one day at a time. And that’s working for me.

My actual lessons don’t always match what my weekly overview says.  I’m teaching students. They aren’t concerned with my weekly overview.  They need to “get it” before I move on.

And as we are learning together, my students and I, we are looking for those small victories.  The ones where the end of class comes and students are telling me, “Math was great today.”  The ones where more and more students are engaged and participating. The ones where I get blog comments that tell me the assignment I gave was great.


Yes.  Those are the small victories.

I am thankful for the Internet and those math geniuses who are sharing their knowledge.

I am thankful for students who believe in their teacher and don’t give up.

I am thankful for this opportunity (although I didn’t ask for it) to grow and step out of my comfort zone.

Small victories.

Keep’em coming!




One thing I love about this reflection is the fact that my students believed in me.  Children and adults alike need someone to encourage them, to motivate them, to guide them through difficulties.  That is what my math students did for me last year.  We made a commitment that “we were in this together,” and we stuck with it.  I was proud of them, and they were proud of me.


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