I’ve started to write several times over the past few weeks, but have been obviously unsuccessful. October was a rough month, as a teacher and as a mom. I can summarize the mom aspect in two words: “toddler” and “bedtime”.
The teacher aspect is more complex. I’ve been feeling a little lost and a lot overwhelmed, and while I was able to make some headway with some of these challenges, it’s not all peachy. I found myself with a bunch of new students in late September, which caused a lot of upheaval for all of us. Since then, several of those students have been moved to special needs classes. In one class, I had sixth graders whose reading levels ranged from second grade (barely) to seventh grade. I had the equivalent of an entire special needs class in a regular ed class, without the benefit of a para. Fortunately, another teacher who works with the class is wonderful and began the referral process. It turned out that a lot of the new kids had IEPs and never should have been placed in regular ed classes. At the moment I have four kids who are really, really behind, but there were about ten at one point, and I think two of them will be moved to special ed soon. I went to Borders and bought third grade reading workbooks, and tracked down every high interest/low level book I could find. I’m not making much headway. As part of the end-of-marking-period assessment, I had them take the multiple choice part of an old sixth grade ELA. Two of them got two questions right out of 26, one got six and one got 7.
Thinking about these four kids is making my head spin. I think I’m done with this post. Luckily, America seems to be a great place for opportunity: from unlicensed plumber to Congressional candidate AND country music star! I need to find a similar path, but I have to be able to remain a Democrat.