Sunday, August 12, 2012

never let them see you cry...

i know that wanting to cry means i love my job.  the reason i know this is because i want to cry because i feel like i am failing my kids.  i teach a program i despise and the first benchmark of the year is coming up in a week and am beyond stressed out.  why am i already stressed out after almost two weeks of school you ask?  well, the first day was the rules, getting to know you, mumbo jumbo and then i realized that most of my students had already had my class.  how is that?  well i teach a class that is used as an intervention for 6th graders but because some schools keep their 6th graders so our former  curriculum specialist told our principal and counselor that it's okay to let the kids who failed the class retake it.  NO!  it's the exact same course in 7th grade since i am not supposed to have the same kids.  so now we are going onto week three of school and i am stuck with half a class of kids who have already had this class and won't want to read the same exact stories twice.  i have told the principal, i have told the counselor but let's be honest this isn't high on their to do list so now i am stuck.  did i mention these classes are 90 minutes long?  i have spent time on figurative language, genre, and now what do i do?  i need to get started but i know the kids aren't going to enjoy rereading a book they read last year.  i am also stressed because our librarian managed to get a new job in the district so she was able to leave before we had textbooks checked out, books checked out.  i was able to help a few teachers check out books but that meant i spent a day of  my class time in the library.  we also had a power outage last week and spent part of the day at the local high school hanging out in their auditorium.  i don't want to fail my kids but i don't know what to do.  i have no one to really turn to because our administration isn't so approachable, they are also in closed door meetings and to be honest they listen but don't listen listen.  i also seem to be behind the other teachers and i don't want that to happen this year but it is already happening.  i am frustrated and just want someone to tell me it will be okay.  we have great new language arts teachers but the ones that aren't new, are okay.  i have one teacher who wants me to hold her hand (she's been teaching longer than i have a been alive), my former mentor teacher who keeps trying to remind us she is a great teacher.  (she was but now she's not as focused so they have placed her our department but not a core english class) and oh the pe teacher who likes to attend our meetings but told me that and i quote "am not a real english teacher because i teach ramp up." i am a real english teacher, i chose to teach my remedial classes and i also have one on grade level class so let's not get started there.  so my question to all you teachers out there is what would you do? friday i had my students take an old benchmark (which i took too and it was super hard) so i think we will spend tomorrow going over it and discussing the things we don't know but how do i blend two separate curriculum's together? 


Sherrie said...

Sorry you have gotten off to such a rocky start. That's not fun at all. Do you have at least one teacher you can work with or get advice on what you can do for these students that have already complete the class. Could you have them do some type of independent work or project? Sorry that I don't have much advice as I teach math, but hang in there!

Claycass said...

My heart goes out to you. I haven't started yet but I know the stress. I think you need to find a way to modify your lessons to fit a different book. Those former students will drive you crazy not wanting to read the same book again. I had a ruff year last year, now I am looking for a new job. I haven't found one yet so I have to go back to my old job. And my principal wants to let me go. It is going to really be a fight for me this year. I am going to continue to look for a new job. I am hoping to be blessed with a new one by December

Kim said...

Oh, Mrs B.
This is a lot for you to deal with so soon in the school year! I am so sorry you have had such a rough start.
My only suggestion: Find some great short stories to gain a little bit of their interest.
There is a great story by Paul Jennings called "A Mouthful." It's about cat poo! Maybe if you throw in some interesting material, but work on the same goals, the students will be more willing to play along?
Also, you might want to check in on Jen Runde's blog and try some interactive notebook activities just because that might be something new and different.

I am sending you good luck wishes...

Finding JOY in 6th Grade

mama2boys said...

I have actually been in the exact same position. I didn't teach Ramp up, but I taught Springboard. When I had a bunch of repeaters, I usually did the same basic unit stuff, but changed the major reading material (longer stories and novels) to other titles that fit the unit. For the shorter reading pieces, I just repeated them. I mean, let's be honest- the kids failed last year for a reason. Are they really going to remember everything they read (were supposed to read) last year? Probably not. Good luck! I'd love to hear what you end up doing.

Mrs. Garcia said...

I just discovered your blog and believe me when I say that I know how you feel. There are some truly amazing short stories that may grab the interest of your students. My non-readers loved hearing stories from Bradbury's Illuminated Man (Tattoos that come to life? What's not to like?)Keep your chin up and if you need anything, let me know. I'm not quite up there on my blogging, but when it comes to ELA resources, I'm your girl!

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