These three days before school starts are filled with meetings and a mad rush to get the rooms and everything else ready for the first day of school, which for most of the teachers at my school and in the rest of the district, means that school starts on Monday. I have to do the three days of meetings, even though my class doesn’t begin until Sept. 15. The hard thing about teaching at a year round school for most teachers is how little time there is between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Most of our teachers just ended their contracted year on August 11 and they reported back to work yesterday for the new year. So they didn’t get much of a break. In kindergarten that means shifting your thinking from kids that are basically at First Grade one day to two weeks later facing beginning of the year kindergarteners and all that that entails.
One of the things about teaching in a year round setting is that at any given time part of the school is on break. And this year, I’m on the rotation that has our very first break the first three weeks of school (I guess SOMEONE has to do it).
My new school is doing many of the things and programs that I was doing at my other school. The one NEW thing that is different is that this school is a Reading First school. I know that it means more people in and out of my room while I teach, and that both I and my teaching will be monitored and supported more than I have been used to in the past. Today was the first day that I got really good information about what that really looks like and what it entails. I think I’m going to like it, it makes sense to me. I’m sure that I will have to make some adjustments, but Reading First gives me support in making those changes in my teaching. And really, best practices are best practices. They don’t change, so I’m thinking I might not have to change as much as I thought I would.
I do know that we are going to be jumping into interventions for the Tier II kids kids sooner than I have in the past. Last year we started our Voyager intervention groups in January. Another thing that will be kind of hard is that the District mandated window for the first Benchmark tests in Dibels just happens to fall on the very first week my kids are in school. THAT’S just going to be wonderful. All other kindergarten kids in the district, in all of the regular 9 month schools, and in all of the year round schools on the other calendar retations other than mine, (80% of the year round students) will have been in school for at least two weeks prior to taking the assessments.