Saturday, June 9, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I posted that there were rumors that there was going to be a lot of movement of teachers in my district. Well, there was! I found out this week that I am going to be a basic skills teacher next year. It is a HUGE change for me! I will no longer have my own homeroom or my own class. Instead, I will be going into other teachers' classrooms to co-teach with them during their literacy period. In my district, they call it a push-in model of instruction. Rather than pull the children in need from the classroom, the basic skills teacher "pushes in" and works with the classroom teacher to help those particular students.
I am being moved because I have a specialty in reading and the district wants to put people with strong, certified backgrounds in literacy and math in those basic skills positions in an effort to bump up the test scores of those friends.
I'm not happy, but I'm not devastated. Feeling sort of melancholy about the whole thing.
Sad about the move because:
-I didn't ask for it. I am very happy in my current position.
-I will really miss having my own class. I love everything about it, setting up my classroom, having the same group of friends all year long, etc.
-Despite it being a co-teaching model, I will really have to plan and teach according to what the classroom teacher is doing. There is a definite loss of control in this position.
-Often, basic skills teacher are in the room for only part of the period. It makes it difficult to really do the job well when you can't be in the room for the full literacy period. I am hopeful that they will change the scheduling this year, but we will see.
-Since I will be pushing into other classrooms, I will need to pack up my classroom. It means all the great resources, books, games, etc. I have will be boxed and not really used. I know some of it I certainly will use, but most of it will just be stored now. That makes me kind of sad.
-No room to decorate! I always like decorating my classroom with a new theme each year. Very sad to not have a room to decorate.
-In my district, non-homeroom teachers follow a different schedule with different duty assignments. Let's just say I'm not thrilled with the duty assignments I'll have now!
Okay with the move because:
-I do know that I will be helping students in real need. Having a masters in reading and being a licensed reading specialist, my background in literacy will be most helpful to those students.
-I'm only teaching literacy next year. As a classroom/homeroom elementary teacher, you know we teach math, science, social studies, health, etc. It will be nice to have just my favorite subject to focus on.
-It will mean less work to bring home at night. I simply won't have the demands that the classroom teacher has. This will be a nice change. I have been teaching "gifted" students for the past several years. When it comes to a writing assignment, those kids can write! It usually takes forever to grade their work. Even their assessments were more involved than the regular ed classes. So, I can expect a little bit of a lighter load in that area. However, I suspect that time will be taken up with more planning for my new at-risk friends.
-Speaking of less work, I don't have to set up a classroom! I know I cited this as a sad reason earlier. However, I have to admit it will be nice to not have to go in to school that last week of August to set up a classroom. I can basically just walk in on our in-service days before school starts. In the past, I would easily spend a week or sometimes even two of my summer vacation setting up my room for the year.
-As for planning, I am looking forward to creating activities and projects that will engage these children. Unlike my gifted students who were one or two years above grade level, my new friends next year are testing one to two levels below grade level. I really think it is key to plan a lot of high interest lessons and activities for these kids. They need to be hooked into learning, and I'm planning to get them hooked! :-)
So, we will have to see what next year brings. I am just going to embrace the change and roll with it.
In the meantime, I could really use your help. With my new position, I am interested in finding some blogs written by "push-in" teachers; anyone that works with lower ability children, teachers that go in to other teacher's classrooms to teach, anything that is sort of similar to the situation I will be in next year. If you know of any blogs like this, would you mind letting me know about them in the comments? I've got a whole summer to catch-up on how they do it and be inspired!