Tuesday, September 9, 2008

how to move from great to good

I don't know how "PC" this blog post will be....this is a warning.....I'm going to use this post to vent because I find that by venting I find clarification and ultimately new direction and resolve.
I love to teach, but sometimes I feel like the cliche: babysitter. I plan, sometimes to a fault and all I end up doing in a day is chasing students around the room, asking them to get on task and then pretending not to have my feelings hurt when the call me a name (the latest is McAsshole)!

I want each of my students to feel cared for and know that I expect them to excel. I wonder how clearly I have been able to voice this message over the past two weeks?!

My biggest headache comes from my 3rd and 4th block Social Studies classes. I thought they were supposed to be "ELA", but our school has such a high course failure rate, that half of the students are what Jennings lovingly refers to as "retreads." (Retreading works for my tires.....for a time, but isn't helping these students learn to learn or live. ) So, I have half of my students learning language, and the other half retaking the class. I can't really teach language....I attempt to teach content to students who have no idea what I'm saying and chasing the other half of my class around the room with threats and plees to "do thier work." Looking at my gradebook, I see that noone is passing ----- noone is completeing thier work.

I have often told myself: "I am a good teacher, good teachers handle all situations with grace and agility and make all students learn."

Last night I was reading a book for my Evaluation class for my principal's license. In summary it said, the job of a supervisor is to fascilitate growth among teachers so that students get the best education possible. It also said that supervisors must be aware of the teacher's experience, maturity, life obsticles, and setting ----what they have to deal with inside the 4 walls of their classroom. Supervisors should give teachers, especially young teachers, opportunities to grow and that means making sure their setting is manageable.

I keep comparing myself to Jennings. However, eve with 30 years teaching I won't be as great as she is nor will I command as much respect. Yet, here I am, a teacher with only three years experience expecting the results of a teacher with thirty. And, I feel that my administration expects the same.....wouldn't my class load be different if they did?

My question: how do I move from being a good teacher to a great teacher in my current setting?

And when did I become the teacher that blames my failures on my administration(/counseling center)?

I need to differetiate....everyone says so, but none can explain to me the steps to do it. It seems that differentiation can be explained in theory by textbooks, peers and administrators but, it takes experience and intuition to do it....and do it well.

By looking at my classes, I need to differentiate and create three - four lesson plans for each class. --- Thats my next step to figure out how to do this efficiently.

I also need to make sure I acknowlege my students who are on task....

I need to plan activities that are kinesthetic and allow for movement.....maybe I won't have to chase these kids around so much...

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