I'm So Glad They Moved My Favorite Shows to 9.

So today was day 1 with the kids. It went fabulous! Kids are easy--it's adults that are a pain in the ass. It's funny how, after working with kids for so long, you start to understand the kinds of students that are there every year. You start to see the faces and hear the voices of past grades in those of today, and it's reassuring to know that the names may be different but, so often, the kid-ness remains the same.

We'll be starting, it looks like, with a short story unit. Although I was hoping to begin with memoir/personal narrative, it looks like my colleagues and I aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to writing instruction. And who can blame them? They've probably seen dozens of new teachers come & go. There are a couple things I won't be compromising on, though:

1. My students will be doing weekly word study based on root words, with only a couple of words from the week's readings. I prefer to assign less words, focusing on quality of their understanding of the few words. My colleagues prefer a more textbook-based approach, in which the words are pulled directly from the pieces students will read.

2. I will be happy to stay in sync with the other teachers in terms of what material is being addressed when, but I don't feel obligated whatsoever to follow the same plans as they make for themselves (and, in a way, one another). I will address the material with the students, but in the ways I see fit (and effective).

Needless to say, there is a social element to which one must become accustomed when entering into any new community. I have plenty of positive, peaceful people surrounding me--people I feel comfortable going to for guidance and support. And there are some that I still need to settle in with. And some that will just go about their business, bothering with me only when necessary. And I am so o.k. with that, too.


enc said...

The kids are lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on day one. I actually did think of you saying Thursday was day one with students. Never fails teaching in a brick oven school bldg. week one is mid 80's with high humidity ! Enjoy.


Michelle said...

Wow! It's as if you read my mind. I transfered to a new school and I am finding a bit of reluctance to my independence as a teacher. Nice people, as you say, but some are slower to "come around" than others. Thanks for your post. It helped to read this and know I am not alone in my experiences.

JasonWomack said...

"...but I don't feel obligated whatsoever to follow the same plans as they make for themselves..."

In my experience, every teacher has this experience, at least once (...it may have been a loooonnnnggg time ago!).

No longer in the day-to-day of public education, I still remember the day I learned what it meant to hold my own intention, and focus on what I knew was best.

I had to walk out of the teacher's lounge that day; my focus was being compromised, not to mention my belief in the educational system!

Thanks for reminding me of what's important.

SSCaldwell said...

Wow! You're a real teacher now! Sticking to your guns can be tricky, but just remember that the door closes. When your door is closed, nobody can hear what's going on. I'm basing my spelling this year on Words Their Way by Donald Bear and et al. You might want to look at Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Derivational Relations Spellers. The elementary version I use is heavy on word roots and stresses that spelling is developmental, it comes in stages. It might at least be worth a look. Good luck, keep the fire burning!