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Who decides who gets which students the next year?
Old 05-15-2020, 09:27 AM
 
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For example, we have 20 4th grade and 20 5th grade teachers, who decides who goes into which class? I know that word gets around on who parents and kids want to have and not have. I know they don't have time to fulfill all the requests nor do they jave time to psychologically compare who would be a best fit for who. Many parents couldn't care less along with students.
I am sure that the newest teacher probably gets stuck with all of the pad can't due to the power of the other teachers. Would I be correct? In sure how do you all decide this? For example, do you request certain students, under-the-table of course and if you are really close with the principal, I am sure he can find out of way, be it ethical or not to give the very best students to certain teachers and the very worst students to other teachers, like the newer teachers who have little power. This is how I understand it when I talk to my teacher friends. Am I wrong?


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Old 05-15-2020, 09:46 AM
 
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We spend A LOT of time making class lists. Normally, we use sticky notes (with kids' names) and a big piece of butcher paper or poster board. This year, we did it virtually, together. We look at behaviors, academics, ELL, IEP, 504, everything. Then, we have specials teachers and Sped teachers look at the lists. No one can move a student unless they talk to the grade level team making the lists. One move can create a domino effect.

When the lists are done, the principal assigns the teacher to the class. Parents can write a letter stating the type of classroom environment they would like for their child, but they cannot request a specific teacher. I mean, they can, but it won't happen just because they do it.

I think need we to add OA (overactive parent) when we are making the lists. Sometimes the parent is more work than the kid.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:55 AM
 
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My 1st two years teaching at two different schools had me with the absolute worst behaved. Other teachers in other grades, Specials teachers, guidance counselors, CRTs and the Librarian all commented on how my class is 'special'. I am talking violence on levels from many of these kids. I had two kids that clearly have ADHD and were not addressed by parents. They were climbing the walls and could absolutely not help themselves. Little to no support for me esp with help for the severe behavioral kids. Thankfully , my team are helpful and give me good ideas and strategies and support. Things got better by 3rd Quarter after extreme hard work..then Q4 the virus hit. Cannot say I have been sad at all not seeing them. I am much happier away from that environment. Praying for a better class this coming year. I cannot physically or mentally take a repeat. I worked in schools abroad for many years and NEVER dealt with such ridiculous and touted as 'trauma' behaviors. Odd that some of my students from overseas where actual orphans and slept on temple floors or on any floor they could find for the night and were still respectful.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:05 AM
 
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Your post kinda got me riled. At first reading it, I thought you were a troll, then saw you are a high school substitute, so I can understand you not knowing. Everything you have written is like what we hear parents gossiping about. It is not the norm and if that is the way it is happening in your district that is wrong. No the newbie does not get the bad kids, the principal does not give only the best to his pet.

Parents can write a letter asking for a teacher who can match well with their child by listing what they qualities are that they want, but can not ask by name.

Class lists are made by the teachers with due diligence and then admin will add, remove, or replace due to other factors. Then the principal will assign the teacher looking at all factors.

Now this is not the way it is done everywhere but it is an example of the majority. Where ever you are, if the way your post explains it - god bless those teachers.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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At the last two schools I've been at, the previous teachers make a class list, placing kids in classes based on male/female, ability, personality, etc. They try to make sure certain kids are separated and/or together based on student need. Once they have class lists that seem equitable, they turn it in to the principal. The principal decide which teacher gets which list, and may also make changes based on students enrolling in the summer, her preference, requests (which supposedly we don't take, but alas, evidently no requests actually means we do take requests ), etc. We jokingly tell the teachers for the grade below us and principal, "Not it" on some kids, but it's a joke and it doesn't impact a decision one way or another.

At another school I was at, the current teachers and principals sat down and made the lists. There were blue cards and pink cards for girls and boys, filled out with ability and other student information. They started putting the cards in teacher categories. They laid them all out and adjusted as needed.

At the first school I was at, current teachers and the new teachers sat down. The current teachers pick two kids who were alike in ability, personality, needs, etc. and then the new teachers would decide who got whom. We didn't worry so much about boy/girl balance as much as making sure there was a good match with student/teacher personalities.

To me, I don't care how it's done, other than I think the incoming teachers should have some say. I realize if both want or don't want a kid, it won't be perfect, but the more say you give the incoming teachers, the better, in my opinion. As I've mentioned before, I personally think a draft style class rostering session is the way to go. If teachers pick their kids, they can't be saying classes are unfair, that they were dumped on, etc because they had a say.

I personally did not like it at the school I was at where the current teachers and administration sat in a room and assigned kids. I felt some teachers and administrators had an incorrect view of other teachers and made decisions based on that. I also think there was some "stacked classes", where teachers gave their friends really good classes and the teachers they didn't like really bad classes. Actually, I shouldn't say "I think" in regards to stacked classes, I should say, "I know", as I saw and heard it happen first hand. I actually heard teachers saying "Give all these to So and So and they were giving the worst kids to teachers they didn't like." And I heard another teacher say she would make sure to give certain dream kids to her best friend. When final lists came out, these comments were true.


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Here's how we did it.
Old 05-15-2020, 10:49 AM
 
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We wrote cards for each student, which had on it grades for reading/writing/math, high stakes test scores, reading level, and behaviors.

If two students should be separated, that was noted also.

The cards were color coded for SPED, Gifted, and Behavioral issues.

We all sat down together with our cards in front of them.

If two classes were to be inclusion classes, we separated the SPED students into those classes, trying to equalize behavior and level and separating those necessary. Then, we looked at the low kids and put them in the other classes, so that all classes would have an equal number of low students, whether identified or not.

Then, we put the designated gifted kids into that classroom, and split the "high" kids into the other classrooms. Then we split up the middle students (neither high nor low) into the classrooms.

Once split, we looked at boys vs. girls and traded as necessary (high for high, low for low, etc.

We checked to make sure the behaviors were split as evenly as possible.

We checked for racial balance and traded cards as necessary.

Then we made the list, wrapped the cards and list with a rubber band, and the principal assigned each class to a teacher.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
No the newbie does not get the bad kids, the principal does not give only the best to his pet.
Oh, I agree that this shouldn't happen. But being totally real here, I've seen it happen at more than one school, and in more than one district.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:57 AM
 
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I felt some teachers and administrators had an incorrect view of other teachers and made decisions based on that. I also think there was some "stacked classes", where teachers gave their friends really good classes and the teachers they didn't like really bad classes.
I've seen this happen, too.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:24 AM
 
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We did it in much the same way as PrivateEyes.

But, one year one teacher had an awful class. We could not understand why these kids were put together. Then we figured it out. For some reason all of the kids in our grade who moved out of the district were in her class. The replacements, the move ins, had enough behavior problems to adversely affect the class dynamics.

Sometimes things don't work out as planned.
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Same as others
Old 05-15-2020, 12:00 PM
 
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We take all of our kids (usually around 100 or so) and for each student we write down behavior, test scores, and overall academics. We also make lists of 'do nots' like 'do not put this kid in same class with so and so'

Then, we evenly divide classes and try to give each teacher an equal amount of low students, high students, good behavior, and behavior, etc, girls and boys, etc. We sort them into 'teacher A, teacher B, teacher C, etc so we don't decide which teacher get each class. Admin decides that, we just try to balance out each class as much as possible.

The only times students have been placed with a specific teacher is if they're admin kids, or if there's a very specific reason (n. For example, at my current school there is a very well known behavior problem student. However, he's made massive improvement and is now a generally good kid. Admin wants him to go with a specific teacher, because that teacher is new to the school (not a first year) and they want the kid to have a fresh start.


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Old 05-15-2020, 12:07 PM
 
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No the newbie does not get the bad kids, the principal does not give only the best to his pet.
Depends on where you teach!
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Classes
Old 05-15-2020, 12:54 PM
 
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Each teacher has to split the rest of his/her own class into the same number of teachers there are in the next grade. We aim to have low, medium, and high students in each group so no one gets a stacked class.

Those groups are placed with a random teacher. Then we look at each list as a grade level to see if there are any oil/water situations, and check for those little things like IEP percentages, EL distribution, even-ish number of boys/girls, etc. our EBD students are usually assigned to the teacher with the lowest number of students, bc very rarely are they out with the general education group and they’re accompanied by 3-4 adults when they do get to join in with everyone else.

Our final lists are submitted to the principal, who has the final say. They don’t usually change much, bc we did all the heavy lifting.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:05 PM
 
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Usually for us, the teachers in the grade level below make a suggested split list for the new school year. They try to keep these lists as balanced as possible, while also splitting students who need to be separated, etc. Administration usually ends up doing a little tweaking over the summer. As someone else said, the new students coming in are the unknown quantity. That really showed in my grade level this year. We had a large number of new to the school students, so that totally changed class dynamics.
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I know of occasions
Old 05-15-2020, 01:49 PM
 
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In which the distribution of students was influenced by political dynamics, but that seems less common in recent years. The practice in my district lately has been to for the counselor to allow a computer program do it all at the beginning of the year and then make manual changes, with very little human oversight, and that has its own problems.

Where I see internal politics reflected in scheduling now isn’t so much in the distribution of individual students but in the overall master schedule, especially overall number of classes that particular teachers have to prepare for.

Ultimately, though, it all depends on where you work. Sometimes inequities in scheduling aren’t reflective of anything nefarious, petty, or malicious, as others have said. However, you are not crazy to think that there is sometimes a political aspect to scheduling in some districts.

What I see in scheduling that bothers me in my district is how, at the semester point, a lot kids ask to be moved into a different section of the same class to be with their friends (and usually be more distracted at best or play off of each other if they are prone to behavioral problems at worst), and rather than being the adult in charge and having the backbone to tell a kid “no, we’re not changing your schedule unnecessarily just so you can be with your friends,” they just acquiesce and give the kid anything they want. We’re a small school; it’s obvious who shouldn’t be in the same class together if it can be avoided.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:54 PM
 
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I donít know how our elementary schools place students, but at middle and high level the counselors make the schedules. We donít have nearly that many teachers per grade level, though. I donít know if that makes it easier or harder.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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We've done it many different ways over the years. Current P does not take requests, period. Previous P said that she took them because parents who made requests were often high maintenance- and then when that same parent later complained about the teacher, she could throw back at them, "You asked for Ms. _____, remember?" rather than listening to the parent complain all year that everything would be great had they just gotten the teacher they requested. That kind of made sense to me!

It used to be a whole process that involved anyone who works with that grade level- me as the sped teacher, interventionists, EL teachers, etc. Classroom teachers filled out sheets with academic and behavior data so classes could be balanced. Teachers only make the lists- A, B, and C- they do not get to assign kids to a certain classroom teacher. After looking at the A, B, and C lists, P assigns a teacher to each one.

Current P lets classroom teachers just do it and tells them they should reach out to specialists for their input, but nobody does . Even though we have a scheduled day to do lists next week, one grade level did them this week and sent out a message without student names asking if it looked balanced (it just said things like "well below- 4, below-6," etc.). They also listed the IEP numbers for each class and their total was off by 4 .
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:25 PM
 
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The Principal decides. Well, he decides which teacher is having which grade, and that teachers gets the kids in that grade. If a grade is split across two classes, he decides how the split will be done (for example this year Year 3 is split between a 2/3 class and a 3/4 class. 2/3 has the Year 3 boys and 3/4 has the girls).
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:11 AM
 
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My entire team was new to the school last year. We got the absolute worst students. The other team may have had 10-15 problem kids - we had no less than 40 at a time all year. We absolutely felt dumped on and it was a miserable year.

At my previous district, they let PowerSchool decide the rosters with no teacher input. Parents could pressure for a change but it was not always granted.
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Parents have most of the control/ The P
Old 05-16-2020, 10:50 AM
 
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does what they say if he can. It does all depend on where you teach.
I have been in the same boat as Tiny, where 1 loud teacher would demand certain kids and the less vocal teachers got what was left.
I love the idea of 1- yes, please and 1 no, thank you! That is a great idea!
I found out many years ago that 2 team teachers had been going to the P privately to get or not get certain kids. I was shocked by it.
I never knew we had much say until 1 day the counselor showed up at my door w/ an infamous kid.
I still can't believe she said what she did in front of the kid. She said that the kid had been scheduled to be in Mrs. ____'s room, but she had refused to let him in her room. She asked me if he could be in my room. I felt bad for the kid, took him ( he looked really hurt and remorseful), and he turned out not to be a pain.
In some ways, I think it is best to give the parents the teacher they want if possible. If they pick, they are more likely to be supportive. If they get a teacher they do not want, they are often PITA's
This is just my personal experience: The new teacher gets a trial by fire their 1st year.
I realized a trick that those 2 teachers did too after awhile. They'd make a fuss about a good sibling during school functions and tell the younger sib how much they hope they are in their rooms the next yr.
In the end though, things did not work out well for those 2 . They complained about getting a lower grade level teachers' kids and said how the kids from this teacher could not write well enough.
I was there and spoke up that I loved getting her kids because they were always well behaved and that the parents were very aware of any problems their kids might have. ( She was very strict and kept parents informed.)
Word got back to this teacher and of course, she was unhappy about the complaint. The next year, she started encouraging all of her good kids to get into my class. Then she'd refer the naughty kids parents to those 2 team teachers. It is nice when stuff like that happens.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:03 AM
 
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Teacherbee_$, I like the system where you pick two similar kids and the upcoming teachers get to decide who gets who. My friend and I often thought when we taught elementary that we needed some sort of draft type system where the upcoming teachers get to have a say in it. The truth is, as long as the academic part of things is similar, the teacher who will have the kid should have the by-in. One year, after I'd gone from 2nd to 5th grade, there was a lovely group of kids coming up that I'd taught (either in homeroom or reading groups or whatever). I said to colleague, "I'd love to have any of them back except L.' L wasn't a bad kid but was, in the words of another teacher, "smug." He thought he was better than the other students, felt he was more academically higher achieving than he was, and was often a lazy student. If I could have picked between him and anybody else (even a lower student), I'd have picked the other kid even though L was no t a behavior problem nor struggled particularly academically. So of course he was on my list loll
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:07 PM
 
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I'm in elementary, and at every school I've worked each grade level makes the classes for the following year. We spend an entire day doing it to try as best we can to ensure the classes are balanced in terms of behavior, language, ability, gender, etc. It's never perfect, but no system is.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:07 PM
 
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Here it's done "fairly" on paper. Due to our large ESL and Sped population, once those kids are placed where they need to be, we get the "left overs". Also, take out honors (which is always the same teachers per grade level, but the kids and the parents are annoying. So, no love lost there). And parents request are honored ONCE. Due to families (everyone is related somehow), certain students can't be together. It's done by the APs in my school. We have no say here.
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In my school
Old 05-16-2020, 02:45 PM
 
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the previous grade met to categorize students according to level of English, reading skills, special ed, and behaviors so that they could be as evenly distributed as possible.

Typically over the summer, one-third to one-half of the students moved and strangers arrived on our doorstep to be assigned a classroom by the secretary without any access to their records.

In many places, chance has more to do with class composition than politics.
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Worked out
Old 05-16-2020, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
eacherbee_$, I like the system where you pick two similar kids and the upcoming teachers get to decide who gets who.
It actually worked out really well for us, and that was a school with VERY BITCHY teachers. They were down right bullies, and very hard to collaborate with for lesson planning because their idea of collaboration was, "This is what we did last year on this day and this time and what we've done every year for the past 15, so this is EXACTLY what YOU are going to do, too". Even with them, this method worked out. We were able to compromise when there was one kid we both really wanted. Whoever took that one, then the other had the say on the next kid that happened for.

I think a drawback to the draft is if the teachers don't really know the kids, but personally, I think you get enough of a feel if you are at a small enough school, and the students could be on "draft cards" (lol) with information if needed. I also think some people would think it's "too hurtful" to the child, but the child would never know. My teaching partner and I were talking about some kids on our "not it" list for next year (not like that matters), and it was interesting because some of the kids on mine were not on hers and vice versa. I wish we could communicate that when they are making lists because that would make next year a little easier on us! At least we'd get a say on some kids!
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