The other day a friend from my old school asked me if I felt like I made a good decision leaving and going to a new school. I had to think about it for a while. Even though there are some good things (the students are smarter, the students behave in a social acceptable manner, I have parent involvement), there are also some negatives (more is expected of the students-we don't want just passing, we want commended, I have more parent involvement). I miss my good, good friends at my old school. My new team is nice, but I am not to the point where I can talk to them about whatever. (Look out, Debbie and Kriston, the time is coming where you will soon hear of my bathroom habits!) After a few days of mulling over the question and listening to a lot of feedback from different people at my old school, I decided that even though I am unsure about whether I love, love my new school, I know that I would not being doing well at my old school with the new principal, and the low, low students, and the obnoxious behavior problems, and the lack of support from administration. I know that this would be my last year in the teaching profession if I had stayed there. At least, at my new school, I feel a glimmer of hope that I might last a little longer.
But let me tell you about the best day of school so far. I have had some rough ones; every day is not wonderful. First off, I had scheduled my observation for PDAS for Thursday. That's right, my new principal let me tell her when I wanted her to come and observe me. What a pleasant surprise as opposed to in the past having to wait two weeks on pins and needles never knowing when I might be observed. Now, it is done, and that makes me happy! Secondly, it was pouring rain and cooler on Friday morning. Hello fall weather! I grabbed an iced hazelnut coffee from McDonald's on the way to work. How could the morning get any better?
Well, beside the fact that it continued to be dark and gloomy the rest of the day, the students finally clicked with how I wanted math workshop to look. Ideally, students are able to work interdependently on their investigations and math problems while I pull struggling students to meet with me. All week, we had been working on talking and helping people at your table if they are struggling, so the confusion can be solved before they all come bombard me with questions.
This is a conversation I overheard from one table:
W was telling S (struggling student) how to solve a problem. R butted in and told W to "make sure you tell him WHY he needs to do that." Be still my heart!
Friday I also assigned some teacher helpers. Students would check in with other students for specific problems. The teacher helpers would give them a sticker if the problem was correct or send them away to go work on the problem some more. I saw written in red pen on a student's paper, "please solve in another way." Love it!
And then while we were discussing how math workshop went, my students told me how "efficient" and "beneficial" the teacher helpers were. Need I continue?
Because I did not have to check in with students who had little stumbling blocks, my really confused kids were able to have some awesome ah ha moments!
Friday continued to be awesome because I had a parent come make copies and cut things out for next week. Because my plans were already in, all I had to do after school was file my copies and head out.
School was awesome on Friday!