Last year I felt like I had a good handle on how to teach my Young 5 class. I had some challenges but I was able to get them where they needed to be by the end of the year.
This year I wanted to improve my teaching. I spent a lot of time doing research on differentiated centers. I purchased, prepared and was really excited for the school year, and its fallen flat.
I started the year with many children with behavior and emotional problems of my class. The first two months of the year was spent dealing with a duo of extremely angry children. They can come from a Head Start situation, with four other children in my class. This gang of 6 needed so much behavior work, academics were largely ignored. There were days I had 4 other adults in my class and all the attention was focused on preventing violent behavior. Yes, this is a Young 5 class.
I’d like to say I solved all the situations. Sadly, this isn’t true. The two most troubled children moved out of district. Another of the group was diagnosed and treatment is effective. The other three have responded to consistent expectations, consequences and rewards.
This year was complicated by my diagnosis of breast cancer. I’ve used nearly 50 days of sick time. I was able to have one substitute for the time after my surgery to minimize stress to the class. The 8 weeks I needed to receive radiation and to recover were covered by a competent substitute, and two of those weeks were our Christmas vacation. But still we’re not where I want my class to be.
In the month since my return to the classroom I have done my best to get my students back on track. Yesterday and today I’ve introduced center activities. And I’ve failed.
Tomorrow I’ll reteach and explain again how the process works. Or, maybe, just maybe, I’ll wait and try again next year.