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Do you get any input on...
Old 06-13-2019, 02:09 PM
 
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The students on your list for the upcoming school year?


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Old 06-13-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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Nope. And many times the principal “fixes” the lists and ends up making the classes the worse because she doesn’t know the kids.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:32 PM
 
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Yep, that happens with us too. I got a terrible out of balanced class last year and it was brutal. When I mentioned it I got ripped a new one. This year I saw the class lists before any teachers were assigned to them and requested a group that I have already taught and have great connections with. I got shot down...

Why can’t we ever be treated with respect or have any part in decision making? We are just supposed to accept everything and handle it with a smile.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:51 PM
 
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The grade before us will make a list of kids who should be separated, and I’ve requested not to have family members a few times. The year I moved from 7th grade to 8th grade I got to make a list of “want” and “don’t want” kids. Otherwise, no input.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:58 PM
 
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Wow, yeah, we definitely don’t get to do that! I would love to say who I want or don’t want. This year it’s because I WANT a couple girls. I’m super close with their family and loved teaching them three years ago. Don’t know why that can’t be accommodated

I can see it can get dicey when you can say who you don’t want. It’s not fair to the kids really.


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Class List
Old 06-13-2019, 04:10 PM
 
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My principal assigns students to classes in the order they register. So the first k student on the registration list goes to K1 the next goes to K2 and so forth until they are all placed. Most years the classes are nowhere close to balanced. I had 14 girls and 8 boys last school year. No ell students and 3 ieps. A team mate had 16 boys and 5 girls with 4 ieps and 6 in rti. It's even worse in upper grades because we are disregarded when we tell the P which kids need to be kept apart.
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input
Old 06-13-2019, 05:27 PM
 
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Definitely no input on ones that we get.

We do give input on the kids moving up to the next grade - the ones that need to be separated or in a lower/higher performing class (we're ability-grouped). We can't say which teacher should get them, however, and parents have no input either.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:33 PM
 
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Omg that seems like a terrible way to do it! So sorry.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:45 PM
 
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The current teachers make the class lists for the next grade, making sure each class gets equal numbers of boys/girls, hi/med/low readers, behaviors, difficult parents, etc. Sometimes the next teacher might unofficially ask for a student because she's had the whole family, and we try to honor it. Of course, separating oil and water kids is a must!

To essence253... our KG teachers give a screening test the week before the kids start. Then they put the tests in score order and divide the kids equally between the classes, making sure they keep boys/girls fairly even.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:49 PM
 
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The teachers in the grade level before put the students into classes based on relatively equal numbers of boys/girls, spreading out behavior issues, making sure everyone has an academic peer, etc. The teachers give the class lists to the P and then she assigns a new classroom teacher to the list.

We used to try to do it based on teacher/student personalities that would work in some cases, but new P put a stop to that. She said it was "making assumptions about colleagues that may or may not be true." I used to have some input as to where my kids went as a sped teacher. This year not one single person asked me .


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Old 06-13-2019, 05:56 PM
 
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No.
Our grade teams build the class lists for the next grade level's classes (they build the classes but do not get to match the class lists to the teachers or even know which list eventually was assigned to which teacher). There is a formula involved and then some discretion regarding what our principal calls "evil twins" - kids who really shouldn't be together if it can be helped.
Every year he says he's going to ask the specialists to review the list since we know all of the kids, but I've been a specialist for 5 years in my building and he's never asked us.
Teachers don't get their list until a few days before school starts. They have no say in who is in the class.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:35 PM
 
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Yes, but only because I'm in kindergarten. We make the lists for both the incoming and the outgoing kinders. We take any siblings of kids we have had in the past, and then balance the classes between gender, birthdate, language, and whether or not they've been to preschool.


For the outgoing lists we balance by gender, language, and academic levels, as well as making sure behavior issues are separated and dispersed.
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One school I was at...
Old 06-13-2019, 07:19 PM
 
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I liked the way my first school did it best, with the exception of one little tweak I'd like to make. At my first school, the sending and receiving teachers sit down and make the lists. For example, for incoming 5th graders, the students' current teachers (4th grade teachers) and their new incoming teachers (5th grade teachers) sit down in the spring and start assigning classes. I liked it because I felt receiving teachers had somewhat of a say and should. I feel like I know the other kids in a school at least some what. There are definitely kids in other grades I've formed relationships with on the playground, in the halls, in the lunchroom, that I may know from other things, etc. If I want those kids, I can at least suggest it. If I wasn't there, teachers might not know. Also, I may have had some negative interactions or have students who I know would just not be a good combination with, or I may have had negative experiences with certain families. Sending teachers may not know that either, but I do, and again can have a say. Also, I know my strengths and weaknesses, so as sending teachers are describing a student, I know if I will do well with that student or not so much. When we did this, it definitely doesn't me I get every kid I want and don't get every kid I don't want. It just means I get a say, more so than if I wasn't present. The only tweaking I would do is say that the principal needed to be there, too. Why? Because I do feel like there are/were some teachers who wanted to stack certain teachers' classes. Having a principal there can help that. I also felt that sometimes certain teachers were hard to work with/compromise with...those with the my way or the highway attitude, and having a principal there can help diffuse situations.

My second school had the sending teachers and the principal meet. For example, for incoming 5th graders, the principal and the 4th grade teacher met. I like that the principal is there. However, I always felt like sometimes they weren't "honoring the absent" or talking about teachers when they weren't there to defend themselves. As an example, both my friends were the 3rd grade teachers. One was very structured and strict. Don't get me wrong, she is fun and an excellent teacher, but she is strict and structured. The other was very laid back, very chill, a very nice guy, etc. They were basically two different extremes. I know one of the second grade teachers was telling me her thought process for placing her students and some of the things she said were not very nice about these teachers, not to mention, not true. It would have been nice if these teachers were there to defend themselves/stand up for themselves if teachers were saying these things about them.

At my most recent (which I just left and got a new job), just the sending grade meetings, no principal, no receiving grade. They make the list. The principal then can make changes and approve. However, I don't know of many changes the principal has made. I hate this way. I'll tell you what, this is definitely how teachers stack classes. The principal doesn't know the kids as well, so she doesn't really know the classes are stacked. But, it was quite obvious I got the stacked class 2 years in a row.

I'm not sure how my newest school does it.

I know this sounds terrible, but I have to wonder, what if class placement was done as some sort of draft? Sending teachers make like "draft cards" with a kid's picture, name, some information about behaviors, skill level, personality, parent involvement, etc. Flip a coin or pick a number and the receiving orders start the "draft". Then the teachers just alternate/go around and pick students. That way, really, the receiving teacher is in control of his or her class. You couldn't claim stacked classes because you picked the kids. Plus, if you think about it, the best kids would be picked first, and every teacher would have relatively an equal chance to get all of those. The roughest kids would probably be picked last....but they would be the ones that were left and each teacher would get a fair share of them instead of one getting a lot more than the others. Obviously the students wouldn't know about their draft pick!
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Agree....
Old 06-13-2019, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
She said it was "making assumptions about colleagues that may or may not be true."
I think it's good to make placement with teacher and student personalities into account. However, I agree with your principal that if the receiving teachers aren't there, false assumptions might be made.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:16 PM
 
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To essence253... our KG teachers give a screening test the week before the kids start. Then they put the tests in score order and divide the kids equally between the classes, making sure they keep boys/girls fairly even.
We've asked our P to do that during our staggered entry week, she has refused. She believes that her way is the fairest for all teachers but it's not. We have a week to assess incoming students so why no use it more efficiently. Others schools in my district do, my P just doesn't.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:50 PM
 
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At my old school, we were allowed to say one “no thank you” and one “yes please” which they would try and accommodate. Otherwise it was out of our hands. My current school is so small (<100 Kids) that there are no choices.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:24 AM
 
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The next grade up shares the classes so it really doesn’t matter. We create the groups and the P handles it from there.

I often hear from the grade below that they plan to put so and so in my class because I can "fix" them or figure out what the child needs. Sigh. These children usually have behavior or learning problems.
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Other teachers present
Old 06-14-2019, 05:28 AM
 
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I often hear from the grade below that they plan to put so and so in my class because I can "fix" them or figure out what the child needs. Sigh. These children usually have behavior or learning problems.
This is why I think that receiving teachers should be there, too. You could at least say something. Whether they listen or not is another thing, but at least you'd feel you'd have a say.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:35 AM
 
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I dont really get much of any say on who I will get. Like many previous posters, the grade level before me makes my class list. I can whisper in a teachers ear that I would like to have so-and-so or that I dont think so-and-so and I would be good match but thats about it.

Also the lists change from what it was on the last day to what it is on the first day. I think the P tweaks them a little and then if we get new kids (which we always do) she tweaks them again.

Actually the last couple of years I have tried to get in front of some of the hard behavior cases that were moving up. I spent time with a few of the big behavior kids before the end of the year and find which of them I think works best with my style then I ask the current teacher if they can come to my class a few times for relationship building and to help them ease the transition for next year and see what its like and what third grade expects. Its also a break for the teacher who has been dealing with behavior all year and would like a little time off at the end of the year when they have had it with some of these kids. Then, when they place the behaviors I usually get the kids I started working with the next year. Winner winner-I knew I would get some behaviors, I do a little recon and choose the "best behaviors for me", then I get to lay a little bit of ground work in advance rather than trying to do that on the crazy first days.
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class lists
Old 06-14-2019, 06:12 AM
 
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We can ask for students and generally get small requests. For example, if I've had all kids in a family (and it's a positive experience, then I ask for the next sibling.

Our P does sit down with the grade levels and places students based on high, mid and low performing. Actually, behavioral/SPED students get placed first.

It is certainly NOT always perfect.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:20 AM
 
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We are there when lists are made, but most people don't hand pick their classes. I have heard teachers who were trading kids.... So wrong.

This year, for the first time in my 12 or 13 years at this school, parent requests were gold. 100% placement. Which meant my teammate - who is a very caring and loving teacher - but has a different "vibe" (I know because when I met her years ago I thought she was one of those cold, calculating people... She is definitely not what she looks like she would be, personality wise) is getting the new teacher as a teammate. The new teacher is a friend to all her kids - holds their hands, blows them kisses, is all over how wonderful they all are, ALL the time... and that teacher had 14 teacher requests....that were honored and everyone was told about. Boy did I have to talk my dear friend off the ledge. How wrong is that? I checked the equity though and we made sure the rest of the class leveled things out. Personally, I think the new teacher is getting the short end of the stick. Many of those requests probably should not be together and are very active. So we will see how that works out for everyone.

Many, many times over the summer our secretary has made multiple class changes so that things are not exactly how we left them.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:37 AM
 
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The latter is how my school does it and we do see the issue of stacking classes and I also agree about teachers not being able to defend themselves. Actually, I agree with all of your points.

I’d really like to suggest this to our administration that sending and receiving teachers meet with the principal to make lists.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:39 AM
 
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That happens A LOT in our school. You essentially get punished for being a great teacher .
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:27 AM
 
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The teachers from the grade before make the lists. There is a list A and B (we have two teachers per grade). We suggest which group would be ideal with each teacher. 90% of the time the lists stay as they are but sometimes the P makes changes.
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