I have been teaching 1st grade for four years. Next year I will be splitting my day teaching Reading Recovery for half the day and teaching first grade the other half. I am sharing a classroom with another first grade teacher who is doing the same thing except at the opposite time.
I am wondering if any of you have experience doing this. Any advice you can give me about scheduling, working with the other teacher, handling communication with parents, etc.?
a huge, huge THANK YOU!!! The reading recovery specialist at my school was my lifeline last year. It was my first year in 1st grade and she answered so many of my questions and really helped me along with teaching reading for the first time, on top of getting a couple of my low readers up to grade level. You guys are absolute gifts to teachers. Thank you for what you do!
the RR/classroom split for 5 years. This year, I am going back into the classroom full time. It was a great experience, but very time and energy consuming. I would try to split the classtime as equally as possible between you and the other teacher. Make sure that you guys are both comfortable with what you are teaching. One person will have to teach reading all day, which can get old pretty quick. Parents are supportive, once they understand you are both teachers.. we had some each year think that one of us must not be a real teacher or else they would let us teach a full day. We finally typed up a letter and sent it home with our kids.. less problems that way. I could write a novel here, but the bottom line is.. it is hard work. You can email me if you want more info... firstname.lastname@example.org
First, Reading Recovery Teachers are the best!!!...and thank you for doing that job. Here's my question...since you share the job with another first grade teacher doing the same thing, why doesn't one of you just do Reading Recovery and the other one teach first grade? It seems to be it will be quite a challenge to do what they're asking you to do.
Thank you all for your comments and advice. The support for reading recovery is awesome and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do it.
Bakingdiva- I might email you soon. I am getting into my classroom this week and will start hashing out some of those details. Thanks for the advice.
rasgrade1- Reading recovery teachers can only have up to 4 children on their caseload at a time. This equals out to be 2 hours of actual teaching time (30 minutes with each student, each day), so for the rest of the day I have to be teaching something else. Often reading teachers split their day and do RR half the time and Title I or AIS in the other time. By training 2 first grade teachers we can service 8 children in a semester and still teach 1 section of first grade. This way the school only had to hire 1 other person, to cover the first grade section that we lost by combining our classroom, but they are getting 2 reading teachers and a first grade teacher out of us.
I know it will be a lot of work! However, I am looking forward to the knowledge and expertise that comes along with the RR training. They say it makes you an even better classroom teacher, as well.
I have so much respect for the RR teachers. They do so much for our children.
Our 2 RR teachers did the same model as you. They spent 1/2 the day teaching RR and 1/2 the day in their shared classroom. They were the only RR teachers in our county who also had a classroom. They asked me to team teach with them 2 years ago to help provide some continuity throughout the day. The kids didn't have any problems with the teachers switching out during the day. It is a lot of work for the teachers though. Our RR teacher are now doing RR 1/2 day and EIP the other 1/2 of the day.
I would just say to be very organized so your co-teacher knows where everything is located. Try to have common planning and take the time to share what happened during your 1/2 of the day. Make sure the morning teacher writes down any transportation changes in the same place everyday so the afternoon teacher knows how to send the kids home. Talk about your procedures and expectations to keep the day flowing smoothly.
This certainly sounds like an exciting experience. I look forward to future posts to hear how you are progressing. We have 2 reading recovery teachers, but neither has attemped to maintain a classroom at the same time. I've enjoyed reading Jan Richardson's The Next Step in Guided Reading this summer. I liked seeing how she included her Reading Recovery experiences and knowledge into the regular classroom setting.
and loved it. I taught 4 students in the morning and my coteacher had the classroom kids. She did the LA block. We switched at lunch and she taught 4 RR students. I then did math/scienc and ss blocks. This way we could serve more students in RR. Otherwise a full time person couldn't have reached as many kiddos. This was many years ago and I moved to a district that did away with RR.. (not too smart are they) It was the best times of my teaching career... Of course I still teach the strategies and Love RR.
Enjoy your new adventure.
I taught Reading Recovery 4 years. I now teach first grade. Our school is one of the ones that has done away with Reading Recovery. I think we are letting some kids fall through the cracks having done this. It is a shame. I am sure it is because of money and cost effectiveness. I still use RR strategies with my class. When I did RR, there were 2 RR teachers. We had the same schedule and took students from the same homeroom at the same time each day. This worked quite well. Now, however, we have dropped any one-on-one instruction in lieu of literacy groups. I miss Reading Recovery and the opportunities it provided our students.
I may be moving to the 1/2 day Kindergarten/RR model next year. I worked as a RR teacher for many years just teaching part time. After that I have taught 1/2 day K only in the morning. I am going full time next year and may teach K in the morning and RR in the afternoon. I am a bit excited about reentering the RR field.
I think as long as you have great comunication with your co-teacher, it will work out great!!!
I definitely agree that communication with my co-teacher is key to this model being a success. We have decided to start the year with her teaching the morning and I will be teaching our class in the afternoon (math/sci/ss). I am a little sad to give up teaching guided reading. However, we are going to switch roles half-way through the year and I will teach the Language Arts block then. I think it is a fair way to go about it.
I am lucky to have a literacy coordinator who initiated a grant and got the administration on board for RR. There are a lot of critics out there who see RR as a lot of money to be spending on so few children. I think RR has to be a school wide initiative and EVERYONE needs to be on board and understand the importance- not just the K,1,2 teachers.
Before I begin, I just wanted to tell everyone, "Thanks for the support of the Reading Recovery Teachers!!!" It is much needed in times like these!!!
After teaching in the classroom for 15 years, I decided to make a change and go in the direction of Reading Recovery. It is a very demanding job, but I do it each and every day for the kids and for you teachers...simply because I cannot wait to they get to the end of their lesson series and see them reach their potential that was hidden within them...whatever that may be!!! I couldn't do it without the help of all you teachers in the classrooms and the support you give me and the students throughout the year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!
As for the training, it is well work it. If I ever get called to go back into the classroom, I know I will be a better teacher because of this training, but for now....I am going to keep being the best Reading Recovery teacher I possibly can be!!!