A Little About Me

If you had read this "About Me" section a year ago, you would have read about my love for teaching SIXTH grade. You may have even stopped by to visit JoyinSixth and read a post or two about teaching sixth graders.

I have been "JoyinSixth" for so long, it has become like an alter ego. But the middle school reorganized, and the sixth graders flew away (despite my pleas for them to stay). And I am finally becoming used to the sound of JoyinFIFTH!

And while many (MANY!) people think that my name is Joy, my name is actually Kim. I am always looking for ways to find JOY in teaching--and that's where this blog gets its name.  

I teach at a small school in California... the same school where I began my teaching career. I love being able to connect with families as I teach the siblings and cousins--and occasionally the children--of former students.

This fall marks my thirty-third year of teaching, and returning to fifth grade has involved a few changes. I've traded ancient Egypt for the Thirteen Colonies and tectonic plates for the water cycle, and I've added a few (and lost a few) math concepts. Beyond that, I am simply getting a roomful of wonderful kids who have had one fewer birthday than the previous groups I have taught. Even after three decades, I still LOVE being a teacher. I can't imagine being in any other career, and I still look forward to each new day.

And while the Common Core standards form the framework for my planning, I try to differentiate whenever possible to meet the diverse needs of the learners who fill our classrooms today. More than anything, I try to cultivate a sense of belonging and attitude of kindness in our classroom. And I think it's important to add an element of fun to each day in fifth grade. All of those things make it easier to find JOY in the classroom.

Aside from Starbucks, my classroom is my favorite place to be! And when I am not teaching, I love reading--particularly perusing the eventual additions to our classroom library. Living in California, I am surrounded by beautiful scenery, and hiking and road trips are usual choices for my rare "free" time. 

I try to stay connected with other teachers through social media… You can find me at FindingJoyInSixthGrade on facebook. And I've recently become obsessed (again) with adding to new ideas to Pinterest (If you're in the neighborhood, you can find me at Joyin5th.)

Interacting with other teachers was one of the reasons I originally started blogging, and I am so glad that you are here! Thanks for stopping by my blog and joining in on the conversation.