Thursday, November 02, 2006
I have five Pre-AP classes and one regular class. Sometimes doing lesson plans for both is very stressful. I can't imagine how people with three, four, or five preps do it.
I love all of my classes. They have very different personalities. From the one that cannot get quiet but are full of energetic, thoughtful minds, to the more calm 80% female class full of excellent writers. Then there is my seventh period, regular English class. They get away with more sometimes because it is the end of the day and I am tired and ready to say yes to anything.
A few weeks ago I got a new student, originally from New Orleans. Half the time I can't understand what he is saying. My initial impression was that he was not very bright and he was going to be a frustrating and time consuming student. I was doubtful that he could read and hopeful to get him transferred into a co-teach class where he could be someone else's problem. But I gave him a reading test and saw the counselor. There wasn't much they could do. I had a breakthrough. I emailed all of his teachers and had him come and sit in on my fourth period class while they were taking a test and we did his research paper together. That is how he ended up with a 93 for the six weeks. He was so proud of that 93, had me print it out, and had a friend come by to hear it from me. Then today another small breakthrough. We were reading the first chapter of Of Mice and Men. I was circling the room while student read along with Gary Sinise on CD. This student was falling asleep. I knew from experience he read better when my finger pointed the words out, so I gave him a piece of paper to follow the lines of the book as they were read. So easy. But it worked so well.
Little battles won make this job SO worth it.