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Karoline 05-17-2008 04:12 PM

Title open-should I go for it?
I have been a classroom teacher for eons and now a spot is open in Title. What can I expect to do? I have never worked beyond 2nd grade and quite frankly the upper grades 4th and 5th are foreign territory so I do not know what to expect as far as Math and reading. Would you be able to give me an idea of what to expect? Thanks a bunch

MrsM 05-18-2008 03:56 AM

You will work with the kids needing extra help. Each school can make it look differently, but I think the majority have pull-out for 30 minutes a day, every day. There will be paperwork to complete, I do this every fall and every spring. You may administer tests to find your kids, or you may simply have to collect test scores. You will probably set your own schedule by talking with the teachers. Kids are not supposed to be missing any curriculum instruction in the classroom when they are gone to see you. There are restrictions on what you can use your supply money for. Basically, if it's something you would repair if it doesn't work, you can't buy it. (That's how it was explained to me.) You will need to plan cooperatively with all the classroom teachers, and share information as to what concepts need work, or what is being taught in the classroom that you can support with more practice or explanation. Usually you are not responsible for grades at all, but I send a progress report home with my Title I Reading kids. That's a form someone here on PT shared. Check out posts by LaVerne, she's finishing her first or second year (time flies, I can't remember) as a Title I teacher after being in the classroom many years. She enjoyed the change! I've never taught in the classroom, only student teaching and 8 years of subbing. After 10 years in Title I, I wouldn't want to do anything else.

Look at your state department of education website for technical information about the program. I can usually find it by searching for "administration manual federal program" or just "Title I". Good luck with your decision!

soph 05-18-2008 04:58 AM

I would check out the salary in comparison to yours. In our district retirement pay is based on the last three years of service, so you want it to be the most pay possible even if you are a long way from retirement. Our Title people are paid hourly, not salary and make much less.

LaVerne 05-19-2008 12:44 PM

Here I am...Sorry so late..
Hi Karoline,
Sorry I am so late in answering your question...had a bit of a surgery and I have been recouperating.

Yes, as Mrs. M said, I taught mostly 5th grade for over 20 years before 2 years ago, I became the Title Reading teacher for grades 3-5. I am really enjoying NOT having certain things to deal with that a regular ed teacher has. I will try to list the pros and cons for you that I have had...just my opinion...each case is different.
1. NO recess problems or behavior issues to deal with...maybe 2 in 2 years. No 'Do you have your lunch money?' 'Do you have your field trip form?' unless it is my field trip..none of the day to day issues that can drag you down.
2. Report card time for me is very different...I also send home 'reports' but not with tons and tons of grades on them. I send home monthly newsletters with parenting tips and what we have been doing in my Reading Room. My 'report' card lets the parents know skills we have been doing and new fluency assessments.
3. I like dealing with just 5-6 kids or less at a herds of kids to take places. My groups are 25 minutes each, because of the amount of students I serve. There really could be 2 of me because I have had a waiting list each year.
4. There is paperwork, but nothing NOTHING NOTHING like I had in the regular ed room. No daily stacks of papers to correct. We do many many things orally or on the wipe off board. What I do on paper is special, and the kids know it. I have the kids use a spiral notebook and everything is answered in there that I want to refer to for assessment purposes.
5. I do miss not having entire units with the kids...making projects from book units, etc. Your creativity is somewhat stiffled in Title because of the needs of the kids. They need so much more repetition to remember vocabulary, etc. I try to come up with new and creative ways to get them to read at home. That helps to fulfill this missing aspect for me.
6. I love to teach reading and love to read about teaching reading. So I am always looking on the internet or in new resource books for creative ways to monitor comprehension. So I don't get boring as well as boring to the kids.
7. I set up my own daily schedule. I send out a weekly communication sheet with my teachers and I plan my students' lessons around what they are reading in their classrooms, as well as what I think they need to work on...oral fluency, for example. I have my students 4 days a week and the 5th day is for prep. It has worked out for me.
8. At times, I miss the companionship of a grade level of teachers working together for a field trip, etc. But my door is always open and I am finding I am becoming the place to come and talk and listen so that is a good thing too.

So far it has been a good change for me. But, I couldn't imagine doing it if you weren't a self starter. I believe that my experience teaching in a regular ed room has been a BIG plus, not only in knowing what the kids need, but in the relationship I have with the teachers...they know I have been in their shoes. You have to be able to get along with them and be flexible. Their classroom schedule comes before whatever you are doing.

I hope this helps. PM me and we can talk some more.


LaVerne 05-20-2008 06:56 AM

Forgot to add..
that the relationship you have with each student in your small group is so much more intense and personal than I had with my larger classes. I have always had pretty close relationships with my students, but with title you are in such a self esteem building mode with each child that you have a very personal attachment to each of them. I really enjoy that as well.

I am officially done now...hope this helps. :)

MrsM 05-21-2008 02:50 AM

response to LaVerne
LaVerne, I'm so glad you added the last part. I was once put down by a classroom teacher, who pointed out that I only saw her kids for 30 minutes a day, while she had them all day long, every day, so she felt she knew them so much better than I ever could. It made sense because I'd never been in the classroom situation myself. Still, I felt belittled for the input I was trying to give to a student's ability. I'm glad to know from someone who has served in both capacities what the truth is. I feel as though we have to become teacher, counselor and friend to these kids.

LaVerne 05-21-2008 07:52 AM

So true..
You said it so well. In the regular ed room, you are the same thing as well, but kids in title seem to need you more. You are sometimes...and more times than you would like to be...their only advocate. Many, many students with no cheerleaders at home...parents too tired, too overworked, and too plain LAZY in my book to spend the time nurturing them as they need. NOT ALL, but some. Those are the ones who really tug at your heart. My Donny, coming from a crack house unproven but suspected, who misses school to stay home and take care of his 2 year sister, who cuts his own hair, and his goal is to get into the service. Who at least now HAS a goal. In the 2 years I serviced him, NEVER met or saw or heard from the parents. Teaching him some responsibility with his schoolwork (while he had so much responsibility at home) was probably my biggest success...not his reading...which did improve but it turned out not to be my goal.

Not that there are not kids like this in regular ed, because of course there certainly are, but because the groups are small, the kids feel freer to share stuff with you that they won't in a large group.

Your comment about being put down by a classroom teacher is true as well. There are some who don't get it....I try VERY HARD to be the bigger person and let it go. It is not easy...a couple felt that "she couldn't handle the regular room anymore after 20 years so she went to title". Not the case,,,,I knew it. My skin is still not thick enough even after all this time.

Good luck in your decision.

ReadSoMuch 05-22-2008 09:11 PM

I agree - Title I is a special place.
Thanks to Mrs. M and LaVerne for bringing up the pros and cons of Title I. I've taught only Title I for my 7 years of teaching in two districts, and I know I'm best suited for small group work, not a classroom. Some days the "counseling" part of small group can be exhausting, but I know how important it is for the kids to have a time to share their concerns.

I think when kids work in a small Title I group,it helps them build confidence. Their reading improves because they have tried out new strategies in a small group of students, not in front of their whole class. :o

Best of luck deciding, Karoline!

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