Friday, September 2, 2011

Year Three, The First Full Week

Wow... The first week of school has certainly been a full one.  Getting used to a new required lesson plan format, leading a team of teachers for the first time, having 15 students back in the same grade as last year, and my son starting kindergarten for the second time (he transfered schools) has been a hectic and full week.

It is tough to teach a whole week on vocabulary and elements of plot then see the scores of my assessment.  The accelerated class averaged a 61% on the quiz and my other 3 classes fared in the 30%-40% range. I'm not sure how to reteach the material though.  I thought I was getting through and the in class formative assessments were mostly positive.  If I re-teach the material, then I have to sacrifice other material.  I feel handcuffed.

The vocabulary scores were not as bad as the plot scores, but they were still not passing.

I need this shirt.
Basic American Apparel T-Shirt

Classroom management still seems to have a negative impact on the learning for 2 of my 4 classes.  I am always behind with them because I have to spend so much time correcting behavior and not coaching student work.  The problems are the students that are in 7th grade for a second year.   Why are those kids allowed to ruin the education of the others, or am I to blame for not "reaching" the at-risk students?

I do not want to play the victim because I am not trying to get rid of accountability.  I simply need help from someone who has been successful with these kids.  I do not know of anyone who has at the school.  Any success has been in other disciplines or fabricated by weeding out the trouble students.  The PDs on classroom management simply suggest ideas that I have tried and have failed at with my students.  There is no substitute for internal student motivation, but how does one help them achieve that when it is their 4th year in middle school and they are in 7th grade?

I will continue to try and motivate. I will teach the course, but is that enough? I don't think it is.

1 comment:

  1. I am a 7th grade teacher too. I have the same problem with my fourth year middle school students. I am surviving by God's grace alone this year. The support of the staff has really helped me too. I will be praying for you. We can't win them all. Sometimes the students don't respond because they just don't respond. I wish you the best. Check out my blog gracefulencouragment!