Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Year

3 grades
3 TEST PREP grades
Minus Mario
And Iran
And Kevin
And Amanda
Plus Brianna
And some others that are still in limbo. The roster has been a mess. I had a kid for half a day yesterday. Today I was told I had a new student. Then his old teacher asked if we were an inclusion class. I told her no. His IEP is for inclusion. You can't put in him a self contained room. So no new student. At least not today.
Administratively it's a mess. Thank goodness I deal with that for about 45 minutes a day, and that's if I can't avoid it.
Classroom wise, it's amazing. The shuffling of a few students has made a HUGE difference. Kids came back with a new focus. I came back with a new focus. Yesterday we walked in a line for 30 minutes because they were crazy at recess. Today when I came to pick them up they looked like soldiers :) My babies. They listened. I wanted to pick them up and twirl them around and say THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT!
Instead I said, "Very nice line!" I privately praised those who I knew were responsible for the line for their leadership and let them knew it was what I expected from them.
We were playing a game today and 2 students came back from speech and Yahkemp - yes, Yahkemp - said, "Everybody take 2 steps back so Elvis and Brianna can fit in the circle." Again, a can I pick you up and twirl you around? moment. Too bad he's as big as me. Instead, I gave him a wink that only he saw. He also got a super star note home.
My class dynamics are complicated. 4 5th graders that have a history of being my biggest behavior problems. 4 4th graders that are low academically but don't have many behavior problems except if meds are forgotten. 4 3rd grade - learning disabilities and lots of behavior problems. I'm relying on the 5th grade to be leaders and keep the 3rd grade in line. I'm counting on the 4th grade to encourage the 5th grade to be leaders (so far it's working great). I'm also counting on the 5th grade to be tutors. So far the 5th grade is totally eating up this "I really need your help" attitude, and from experience, they'll continue to.
Keep your fingers crossed for purposefully different dynamics, a calmer school, and for me figuring out how to teach 3 curriculums!


Berne said...

Good Luck!!

Jen Barney said...

Ohhh... good for you! I totally understand your thoughts- I thought special education for 7 years... those moments are the best! Good luck and congrats!

dorkyteacher said...

Here's to another year! Hope things stay on the up and up, but when they don't remember days like today! :)

Frank O'Fyle said...

I was a special ed teacher for 7 years, too.

I'm wondering what your reactions have been to the Children First (2007) reforms both in policy and now in practice. Perhaps it's too early to tell.

How do you feel about Bloomberg and Klein.

What do you make of the 'achievement gap'?

What do you make of the increased autonomy of principal? How has it affected you?