I'm starting to feel as though I'm getting my sea legs in first grade. This is allowing me the opportunity to notice things beyond me, my students, and our classroom.
One of those things has been watching specialists work with my class. Intellectually I've always thought that specialists (librarians, PE, music, and art teachers) were amazing because they know almost every student in the school and work with all grade levels, from head start through fifth grade. However, I'd only ever really seen them work with the fourth or fifth graders I was teaching. Now I've seen them teach amazing lessons to first graders.
These teachers are immensely talented. They adapt numerous times a day to various groups of students who are at a wide range of ages. They have to meet the needs of hundreds of different children. I find it exhausting to try to meet the needs of the twenty students in my class. For all the challenges in that I have lots of time to get to know these students and they are all at fairly similar developmental stages. Our specialists also work alone. They do not have teaching partners or instructional assistants (usually, at least) to help them. I am awestruck by them.