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Doubting my effectiveness
Old 11-08-2017, 10:08 PM
 
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I have 27 fourth graders this year and 5 of them are draining me of energy and positivity. Behavior contracts, newcomer EL, ADHD, etc. Iím spinning my wheels trying to make accommodations for so many different needs. I end each day feeling guilty that I didnít spend enough time with certain other kids who could really use some more of my attention. Iíve been teaching for 14 years, so I feel like I should have this down by now.

Also, new School/District for me this year, A grade level switch from 6th, New math curriculum and new language arts curriculum. I guess itís expected that Iíd be overwhelmed. I donít think anyone expects me to be doing any better than I am. My admin isnít on my back about anything, but I have my own expectations of myself. Feels wrong to lower the bar.

Feels good to type it all out and process it from another angle, though.


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Hang in there
Old 11-09-2017, 05:33 AM
 
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You sound as if you are doing a great job. You have lots on your plate, with many new changes.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:02 AM
 
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Larger classes can easily make a person feel ineffective. It is so much work, even when you don't have any issues!

I had 30 one year and a group of 8-10 that I had to work with every single minute of the day. It was wild! I really felt for the rest of the group.

I try to work now in small groups as much as possible. Sometimes my add/adhd kids get nothing done, but that is my documentation to parents. Sometimes I group or partner the rest of the class for stations but sometimes just independent work, but at least then I feel like I am teaching the class something at their levels.

Keep plugging along until you find something that works as well as it can for you. I don't think it is going to get better in upcoming years. I have spent the last 2 weeks with names on the board and kids in at recess. It is draining and makes me not want to assign anything they have to turn in. . Balance.
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:19 PM
 
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You are doing great! With all the changes it take time to get your rhythm but it come. Last time I made a change in positions I was ready to quit but realized it was an opportunity to grow. I love my job and thankful I hung in there. I glad your principal isnít the problem.
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Don't
Old 11-09-2017, 04:57 PM
 
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Don't make accomodations all the time. Secretly just do it sometimes. Just don't make those few kids do their work independently all the time. Let the smart ones help them. Don't let the cat out of the bag though. You need to figure out how to make it easier for you. You can't play by their rules and survive.


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Reading Levels
Old 11-10-2017, 12:14 PM
 
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I would like to offer some suggestions, but would first like to know how many of your students are able to read at grade level. What would you say is the average reading level of the entire class? Would you be allowed to deviate from using the standard curriculum, at least for 45 minutes per day so that you can bring everyone up to speed?
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Grade level switches are hard!
Old 11-11-2017, 08:10 AM
 
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I'm sure you are doing everything you can, and then some! Having been in a similar situation here are a few ideas....try taking a few moments to breathe. I do this with my whole class to model what to do when feeling stressed. We do 3-5 deep breaths, as I say "In with the good, (exhale) and out with the bad." I know it sounds weird, but works wonders for me, and the class!

Also, I have used a clip chart for the last 6 years. I like that I am looking for the good in students to help them clip up, and feel that it adds to a positive atmosphere in my room. Hang in there, and remember that next year will be better!
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Just do the best you can
Old 11-11-2017, 11:04 AM
 
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with what you have been given. I do understand it is hard to lower the bar on ourselves, but sometimes we have to in order to survive. Your expectations of yourself maybe a lot higher than other people have too. Try to make accommodations 1 day a week for your own needs and slow it down if it helps. The kids are not 100% every day...none of us are. I hope it gets better for you!
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:33 PM
 
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Thank you all for your encouragement. It was exactly what I needed.

My class is nearly all reading on grade-level. That's a first for me!

I tried making a point to check in with two of my quieter students and make sure I had a short conversation with them on Thursday. That helped me to feel better and hopefully I helped them to feel like I care about them.

We do morning meeting, so I'm going to focus on some other things during that time to help myself feel successful!

I think I just need validation sometimes! Teaching can be so isolating - I appreciate your time you took to help!
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