Well. After all my whinging this morning about how terrible I feel re: my teaching these days, I actually had a great day.
I’m being tougher – it’s coming naturally. I still have huge holes of How To Deal, but if I feel like I’m doing a better job than last year and making sure the majority of my kids are really learning. I know that sounds like a weird thing to say – and I am not phrasing it quite right – but I guess I mean I am forging ahead with a reasonable amount of academic rigor (I say reasonable because I definitely want to amp it up) even though there are some kids (I mean one! really, just one and another on the fence) who are floundering.
I feel like I actually taught a bit today. Having my Guided Reading in effect makes a big difference for that – when I’m with 5 kids at a time I know they are learning even if it’s just for 25 minutes at a time. I know that some of them are definitely putting into practice some of the skills when working independently and I know that others are probably doing it without meaning to mwahahahaha.
The hope that has come with getting guided reading groups under way has me really raring to do a math workshop model. I need to be able to sit down with the 5 or so kids who don’t get place value separately – I don’t want to leave them trying to move forward without that foundation but I also don’t want to stop everyone from running forward who doesn’t need that. Maybe this weekend I’ll think about making that work – and how I can have general learning targets to adjust for small groups in math so we’re all more or less talking about the same (grade level) topics.
Today was not a perfect day by any means – my schizophrenic student is back from the hospital and not behaving entirely different than when she left. I care for, and that’s hard – I think I’ve been kind of pushing her away because it is Too Much. Not only because she breaks my heart, but because it is Too Much in the classroom – I will say what I have said a million times the past few years – I need to master how to have different behavior expectations for different students in class. And by master I mean figure out how it is even possible in these extremes.
I will be honest – I love my building (and my room!) but for next year I am pretty sure I’ll be looking for an opening at a school without a program for kids with emotional/behavior disturbances. My main reason for getting to this point is that I don’t want to burn out on teaching so fast. I love these kids and would like to work with them theoretically, but the inclusion model my district has is so poorly constructed. I can think of a dozen things that would make it better (more staff/IAs, impacted classrooms have lower class sizes/class size caps) but of course there isn’t money to make that happen anywhere (did I mention I am looking for a second job? because I’m interested in seeing my own kid less often, apparently /sarcasm).
I feel like a cad even thinking about it (why pass the buck?) but it is my plan for next year to look elsewhere in my district.