10 Days: An Emotional Roller Coaster

Ten days ago I started school.  I met my 33 first graders for the first time.  I set routines, learned about my students, met their parents, established a workshop model…now I am on strike.  The emotional highs and lows of the past 10 days have made me feel like my life is a crazy made-for-TV movie.  I’ve learned that it’s hard to wipe you’re tears when you’re holding a sign advocating for low class size. I’ll never forget what it felt like to stand on the picket line beside my former students and realize they’ve blossomed into young adults–ones who take action and stand up for themselves and others.  I’ve held hands with my colleagues knowing that no matter what anyone says, what we do every day truly matters.  And so, words can hardly express the past 10 days. Enjoy the photo essay.

About Kristin

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. A first grade teacher in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She inspires educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. To learn more about her work follow her on Twitter @KristinZiemke.
This entry was posted in Back To School, Classroom Environment, Interesting, Politics, Self Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to 10 Days: An Emotional Roller Coaster

  1. Tammy says:

    Sending you good thoughts and best wishes from Oklahoma. Here’s hoping you get into your classroom and your next group of children’s hearts soon.

  2. Wanda Kern says:

    My heart is aching for you! You are inspirational and amazing. 33 is WAY too many. Hoping reality hits Chicago and that you are given the resources and class sizes that are appropriate for all.

  3. Terry Ziemke says:

    Keep teaching your students to stand up for “What’s Right” and not to accept at face value what some politician tells them is “right for them”.

  4. Still thinking of you here in PA.

    Look at that lovely classroom. Get those kids back inside!

    • Kristin says:

      Thanks Stacey! This experience has taught me that people are amazing! We’re been supported by students, families and colleagues from around the world. Let’s figure this out!

  5. This morning I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about the strike. I felt my blood pressure begin to rise when I read a quote by the Mayor saying that what you were doing was not what was best for the children. And 33 children in one classroom is mister? I can’t imagine how hard this is for all of you, but I know that you are doing what is best for children and that you are putting them first. Good luck and I hope you are back in your classroom putting children first very soon.

  6. Brenda says:

    Kristin – Teachers in Oshkosh, Wisconsin have you and your students in our thoughts daily. 33 in First Grade is not the best environment for learning even though you do your best to accommodate. You’re a great teacher and an inspiration to both students and teachers. Be proud of what you do and that you are willing to fight for them.

    • Kristin says:

      And I’m crying again…thanks for the kind thoughts! :) My students and I appreciate your support. I think of them every minute of the day and remind myself they deserve better. Fingers crossed that this ends soon.

  7. You must be in Chicago. The restaurant where I work has had lots of teachers coming in during the day in their red t-shirts. Thanks for the business but I hope the strike ends soon.

  8. Kristin says:

    I hope it ends soon too! We all want to back with our kids.

  9. I remember being on the CPS picket line as a new teacher 25 years ago. Sad to say that many of the same issues are the reason for this strike. Hope it ends well soon.

  10. Kristin says:

    That makes me really sad. I heard Dr. Allington speak this summer and he said, “We’ve known what we need to do for more than 30 years. When will we just do it?” Hoping to be back in school soon.

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