The more I got into the curriculum and got a feel for what the expectations were, the more I realized something wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but I felt like there was way too much work that was way too hard for what I had pictured in my head. There was no way that someone would make units and plans and this entire curriculum impossible to get through…What the heck?
The kids…The kids were so far behind…In everything… That was has been one of the hardest things I had to deal with throughout the year. I would find myself getting frustrated, mad, and it was SO hard not to take it out on the students. After all, that’s who I spend all my time with…But I spent a lot …A lot… of time reflecting on why? Why was this such a challenge?
They weren’t retaining anything. So even though I spent a ton of time practicing, manipulating, repeating…I’d come back to the topic after a weekend, and the questions would flow…”Miss, what’s multiplication?” “Miss, what’s a period?” “Miss, what do you mean a sentence?”….It.Drove.Me.Bonkers… But what could I do? Sometimes I still don’t know. I just kept on doing what I was doing. The only thing I wish I had done differently was sent home homework. I know, I know…Homework is being done away with for the most part. But the reason I never gave it, was that I knew I wouldn’t get it back, and it wouldn’t get done. Out of 21 students, I never got more than 3 returning their work.
I didn’t know what to do about this…So I decided to pick my battles, and homework wasn’t one of them. Manners, cleaning up, personal responsibility in the classroom, that was what I could control. So that was my battle.
And I won that one.
But, as I begin preparing myself for next year. I wonder how we are even expected to get through everything, know how the dynamic works in the demographic I work with. There are students in Jr.High, reading at grade 1 and 2 levels. How can I possibly get through essential material, when the students cannot work independently because they can’t read!? Agh!
I have a lot to think about over the summer…