Back to the Grind; Just Keep Moving…

Well…snow days are over! I gotta say it’s kind of a bitter sweet notion! I miss my afternoon nap, wearing pjs all day and most especially, getting housework caught up!!

But being back is nice. The routine is good. I missed my kids. I think most of all I missed the challenges of being a “specials” teacher. Its not the same as being a classroom teacher. All of you educators out there know what I’m talking about.

I don’t have the same kids all day with very few breaks. I get to go pee when I need to (most of the time). I don’t have stacks of papers to grade and grades due by a certain time. I just get the luxury of teaching reading! (Riiiiiiht)

That being said, I would like to share my challenges. I decided for the next 30 days I’m going to do just that.

Please keep in mind this is not about me complaining or looking for sympathy. I love my job! I only want to share with you the life of a remedial reading teacher. My triumphs, my struggles, and the blessings of being a part of the next generation’s journey of becoming our future!

Today’s theme: Just keep moving!

I’m not the only one who feels this way today. I can see it on everyone’s face as we pass in the hall or slump down in the teachers workroom chairs for a quick breather.

Even the kids. They’re somewhat mechanical. They’re moving around in a tired frenzy to accomplish a task just to move to the next task so that the 3:14 bell will ring before they know it.

Which brings me around to what seems like the whole public education is about now days. Cram these 5,786,564 Common Core standards down so we can move on to the next thing. Gotta have it, it’s on the test! Most importantly, it’s gotta be done before this time, or they will fail the test.

Job Security

I guess I shouldn’t complain. This is part of my job security. WRONG… I despise any type of failure. When we don’t invest, we fail. When we don’t reach 100% of our students, we fail. I won’t be a part of a profession that fails our future and I don’t know a teacher out there who wants to either.

My Solution

I mentioned in a previous post, my boss doesn’t let me present a problem without having a solution. I guess I could go in there without a solution but I would just leave frustrated and trying to figure one out. So, like a rebellious teenager, I always go in prepared.

For this problem, I say, we just slow down. Take a deep breathe and remind ourselves why we choose this profession in the first place.

Again, I’m going to take you back to a previous post “Talking to Kids is Crucial.” Though this was geared more toward parents, as educators we need to remember to let our kids talk. Let them tell us what they know so that we can guide them to higher level thinking. Let them tell us what their confusions are. Let them guide the lesson. I’m not saying don’t do lesson plans. Having a rough guide is important.

As a reading specialist, I can’t create monthly, or even weekly lesson plans. I have to create plans daily. I know this sounds outrageous to a classroom teacher. You’re thinking I can’t create plans daily! I wouldn’t have resources. What would I do if…!

STOP…take a breath. Trust yourself. You know your kids. You know you have to stand by Johnny because he won’t stay focused if you don’t. You know that Susie has to stand to concentrate on the task in front of her.

Have your basic blueprint. But just like any contractor will tell you, “You’re not going to follow it to the ‘T’.” The owner may want this room moved over here or modified this way to better fit the family’s needs. Be that contractor, build what your students need, not what the blueprint says they need.


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I've been teaching Title I Reading in a rural Missouri school for the past 8 years. I'm looking to find other teachers with a passion for literacy. I want to share thoughts, ideas, and current research on literacy trends and issues. I look forward to learning with/from you all!!!

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