Somethings about the beginning of the year I hate:

I’ve barely got my kids settling into the routine of school, (we were on day 18 today) and they are really pushing us to get into small group differentiated instruction.  That’s fine, but the problem is, what are the rest of the kids are doing while you are doing differentiated instruction?  They aren’t set THAT well into the routines of school yet.  Many of my kids are still coping with the sheer joy of being around a bunch of other kids for the first time in their lives in what they view as a social setting.  And I agree, they really need that socialization.  But they don’t know how to control themselves and make good choices yet.  Many of them can’t stay on task doing  their seatwork when I am NOT doing small group instruction, when I start the small group instruction, their behavior and amount of time on task will not improve.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they would let us ease into centers, but they want to micro manage the center activities as well.  They have placed so many conditions on what the centers can or cannot be that it’s almost impossible to comply.   None of the old traditional centers are good enough, or academic enough anymore, no puzzles, no housekeeping, no blocks.  During the reading block of time, the centers had better be language based.  During math, the centers have to be math.  The math centers they have for kindergarten that come with our math series, are two kid centers, take longer to explain than they do to do, and all require manipulatives.  So if my intervention group is 5 or 6 kids, that means I have to have 12 or 13 centers set up for the rest of the class, with the manipulatives all counted out……..  And of course the math lady sees nothing wrong with doing her centers during language arts and the language arts specialist really doesn’t have a problem with you doing language arts centers during math, but they really have a problem if you do something else in THEIR time block.  And anymore, you hardly can fit the required number of minutes of ANY subject into the week.

I was looking at how many conferences I need to set up for kids I have concerns about.  Nine.  Nine out of 29 kids I have concerns about how they are going to do if they don’t have some serious help at home.  And of course most of them haven’t had any of that help yet, that’s why they can’t do anything.


3 thoughts on “Somethings about the beginning of the year I hate:

  1. This is what baffles me about our education system. We spend the least amount of time, money, and manpower on the most needy group. Kindergarten is the foundation of education! We give kids a poor start by packing too many of them in a room and demanding that they learn too much, too quickly.We place ridiculous demands on teachers who know in their hearts we are doing the wrong things in the wrong ways. Then about fourth grade we panic and decide these kids need tutors and interventions and testing. Duh!! Later we pour money into programs designed to prevent dropout rates from soaring. Start at the beginning and we will see fewer problems down the road!!

    I feel for you. I have sixteen students, eight with challenges, and no assistant. Differentiated instruction works on some days and is impossible on others.

  2. The best recipe for burnout I can think of: give someone a difficult job, ramp up the expectations to make the job impossible, tell them exactly how to do their job, don’t listen to their feedback, and then deny them adequate resources to comply with your demands.

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