Sunday, August 12, 2012

From Mr. Scott to Mr. Wiley

It's been an eventful three weeks. For a while, I've felt that I needed to move in a new direction. My "day job" has been as a curriculum editor. And I've enjoyed it immensely - for 15 years.

But I've also loved teaching and working with kindergartners at my church and as a volunteer in a local elementary school. So...I've been thinking and praying about a change.

Three weeks ago I got a call from a principal. Offering me a job as a first grade teacher. That started practically immediately.

After some quick thinking, pondering, praying, and talking with my wife, I talked with my current supervisor. Then - within a quick timeframe - I was resigning my day job, setting up a classroom, and meeting a wonderful group of first graders.

A self-portrait on my first day of school
(Not great - it's from my phone)

Now I'm Mr. Wiley - I haven't been Mr. Wiley for a long time. (Kids at church call me Mr. Scott.) The past week has been exciting...and a little scary...and exhilarating...and fun. I'm learning so much about my new school and my new group of kids. We're recalling what we learned in kindergarten about letters and sounds and sight words. We're counting higher and higher...and recalling number words and more/less quantities. And learning how to walk in the hallway quietly. We even experienced a fire drill together.

I've had so much support from friends and the folks I left at the publishing company. I have had great help from my new first grade team of fellow teachers. And I've had wonderful comments from my new class - as we get to know each other and form a new community.

There are lots of things I want to do, but right now I'm trying to get my class pulled together and my routines established. But in all of the whirlwind of changes, I know it's the right place for me. My heart is full each day.

As a result, I've been offline much more. This blog has not been as active as it has been. And my presence on Twitter and Facebook has been less, too. I'm hoping that things will settle and I can get back to a more regular schedule online - but for a while the blog posts will be fewer.

I'm still teaching kindergartners at church - so I'll still have a lot to say about early childhood education and play. But there will also be new directions that I'll be exploring, too. I'm now in the "trenches" of public education and I'm sure I'll be talking about that. And I'll be exploring how I can integrate my passion for play and discovery in my new first grade classroom.

I hope you'll stick with me through this transition. I appreciate what I learn from each of you as you post comments or link me to your thoughts on your blog. Thank you, online friends.


  1. Congrats on your new direction... remember that 1st is still early childhood. Those kiddos still need hands on. That is one lucky group of first graders to have you.

  2. Sometimes when we think we are in just the right place, we are lead in a slightly different direction. You are a remarkable educator, and the grade you teach won't make that any less so. Congratulations and good luck as you journey down this new path. :)

  3. Congratulations Mr. Wiley! I'm so happy for you and can't wait to hear all about your new journey!

  4. Congratulations and Good Luck in your new adventure! 3-8 is Early Childhood and its wonderful to have experienced teachers "move up" vs "move down"! Great to have your perspective and experience for these first graders! Your students, parents and district are very fortunate!!

  5. so thankful I came across this blog! Love your heart and passion for kiddos!!

  6. Congrats! This s very similar to how I came to each K four years ago. Best of luck!

  7. That is a fortunate group of students, indeed, Scott. I wholeheartedly second the comments from Carrie and Kinderchat! When I was working as an Early Childhood Consultant at one of our regional education service centers, the fist grade teams often begged for people like you! I'm excited to experience this new adventure vicariously through you. I know God has many unexpected blessings ahead. I pray His best for you and your students this year! Angela Linam

  8. Congratulations on your new job - what an exciting journey! Best of luck!

  9. This is so exciting, Scott!! I am SO happy for YOU!!!! Wishing you lots of luck on this new and exciting chapter. :-)

  10. Good luck, Scott. Don't we always encourage the children to try something new, to stretch? Here is your chance!

  11. It exciting to teach a new grade. Wish you a lot of luck and can't wait to read about this new chapter. I use you ideas a lot from my pre-k classroom.