"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, September 11, 2008

some thoughts from the classroom

hello hello! sorry for the lack of posts! between trying to figure out my first year of teaching and my first year of grad classes, as well as opening bank accounts, figuring out car insurance, stressing out about affording gas, groceries, teacher clothes, almost burning the house down, and trying to find time to eat, i've been busy!

anyway, here is a quickie update on my first few days of teaching. it's rushed and scattered, but it's HERE and that is what matters.

love and kissies,

Tuesday, Sept 9th. DAY 5.
long day. this doesn't get any easier, but thankfully Tuesdays are early dismissal. i just don't know what to do with my classes: the kids in my special ed class are so behind, and so out of control, that i worry i'm never going to get around to actually teaching them anything this year. even the simple activities, like writing their names and thinking of words to describe themselves, are frustrating for my kids, who read at an abysmally low level. many don't know the difference between + and - (that is, that a + means to add), so i will need to spend a lot of time just developing math literacy.

what's really interesting about this whole experience is that i still have yet to learn who is on my case load, who the special ed students are (because i have a general ed class that seems to be mixed) and what their disabilities are. yesterday, i learned that my student Jordyn is autistic, but i only learned because i spoke with one of my colleagues who had him for english. my student Chantal is deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) but i had no idea, because she wears her hair so as to cover her ears! this entire time i was getting frustrated with her b/c she never understood what was going on and i had to constantly repeat myself to her, so i thot she just never paid attention. so i felt terrible when i finally learned that the real reason was that she couldn't even hear me!

it's amazing that as a special ed teacher, i am not informed of my students' disabilities before i teach them. it would seem to me that in order to ensure that they are receiving the necessary accomodations and the best instruction possible that i would need to have at least a basic understanding of what the student's situation is. it's been frustrating to find that reality is much different.

the general ed class is going really well though. i got the parent surveys back the other day and i plan on calling homes tonight. the students in there are all really great. we did an activity in science today where they had to bring in an object from home and keep it secret then get up in class and describe it for others to guess. it was supposed to help them with their observation and description skills. my favorite one was my student Frank (the one who asked me if he could have my old uniform clothes). he brought in a battery and his clues were so clever!

even though i'm almost a week into school, i keep getting new students. today, i got three students referred to my homeroom, who weren't even on my roster, because some bum teacher said "he only teaches magnet kids" and sent them out. i was livid! it was the same guy who's been hoarding teaching materials and refusing to help anyone else out. the students came in and i didn't have a desk for any of them, i already had students sitting elbow to elbow in the back and at my desk. serious overcrowding issues!

more later. MUST EAT.

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