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The Teacher Thread - Page 18

post #256 of 562
NYR- I was wondering your opinion of the regents. I am in college in texas and can tell the tests were to a much higher level then the tacs tests here. Granted things like the ever present dbqs I see in your pictures were easy for most advanced kids but they did teach basic reading comprhension.
post #257 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenRose View Post
up here in Canada, almost all elementary teachers are chicks. Styleforum is mostly male, no?
Mostly true here as well but there are a few exceptions. On the whole though I figured we'd have at least a few.
post #258 of 562
Wait, I thought this was going to be a thread were the masses of co-opted ignorant "conservatives," libertarians, and disaffected citizens hate on good-for-nothing, state-bankrupting, leach teachers.

There is an unusual amount of sincere, rational discussion here. I am scared.


post #259 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
Its surprising that we seem to have no elementary school teachers here.

I sub in elementary when they need me. I get $4 more a day for subbing in an elementary class. YEAH!

Edit- The drive to the elementary school is a good 15 minutes extra so I probably break even those days.
post #260 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly7 View Post
how it affects their jobs.

Popcorn reading in every class besides math.
post #261 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBrown85 View Post
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/0...acher-Any-More

Just a write-up by a teacher on an evil liberal blog but interesting nonetheless.

Great read. Thanks for the article.

Quote:
At the same time, class sizes and special needs were growing. The behavior classroom was closed and its students were mainstreamed into the regular classroom. I tried to become an expert on dealing with anger issues. I tried to learn how to help fifth graders with severe disabilities, limited mobility, and cognitive levels of very young children, all in my regular classroom now filled with 30-35 students.

This is a real problem for high school teachers. I have had students threaten to stab me, pee in my coffee, steal my watch,.... All because I wanted them to sit down or be quiet. I am not asking them to learn. Just to stop yelling or walking around. Security picks them up one day and they are in my class the next. I can't talk over the guy screaming the n-word in the back of the class.


Edit- Conversation I had with a high school student last quarter. Please forgive the foul language

deveandepot1-Can you please sit down.

student- Why?

deveandepot1- So we can continue reading.

student-Why?

deveandepot1- Can you please sit down(Stern).

student- Why?

deveandepot1- Last chance. (I make a gesture to the phone)

student- (He sits down) Fag

(I pick up the phone and call security)

student- Hey! What did I do.

(I don't respond)

student- I didn't do anything!

(I still don't respond)

student- Fuck, I don't care. Call your mom, you little bitch.

(security takes about 15 minutes to reach my class)


So this one student ruined the whole hour for the other 30 students.


Edit 2-FWIW he did receive a one day suspension.
post #262 of 562
Here in Florida there are no "special needs" children any longer. Everybody's the same! They've eliminated much of the specialized instruction and now everybody just gets their one teacher. This is great for both teacher and classroom morale.
post #263 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
Here in Florida there are no "special needs" children any longer. Everybody's the same!

They've eliminated much of the specialized instruction and now everybody just gets their one teacher. This is great for both teacher and classroom morale.

This is everywhere. I'm on the fence about this (not that anyone has a choice about it) as I think it could be successful if special needs students were placed in a successful enviornment. I have lobbied (quietly) for special needs students to be placed in honors classes. Though the rest of the class will learn at a faster pace, the teacher can design lessons just for that one student. More importantly, honors students will be more likely to help and support the special needs students.

One of my education professors flat out told me and the rest of the class that you will teach to the lowest denominator.
post #264 of 562
Depends on that individual student's needs. Obviously it would be tailor-made to each student depending on their circumstances, but I see something like that being successful if the honors class is taking a PBL approach to their curriculum.
post #265 of 562
Does anyone teach in a division or school that is very "data-driven?"

In my division, content and grade level (English 8) teachers have to give a common assessment every two weeks on some content standard. The results for each teacher are then reported in logs and read by someone. For example, Teachers A,B and C decide to go over sentence fragments and have a test in two weeks. After the test, Teacher A had a 60% pass rate, Teacher B had a 70% pass rate and Teacher C had a 75% pass rate. These results are supposed to guide remediation, and students who failed have to retest until they pass using the same common assessment. Anyone else have to do anything similar to this?
post #266 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by FtRoyalty View Post
This is everywhere. I'm on the fence about this (not that anyone has a choice about it) as I think it could be successful if special needs students were placed in a successful enviornment.
They're not. They're just put back into the normal classroom and expected to keep up. Just to be clear, I'm talking about ESE and LD kids, not Gifted. And your professor's quote fits perfectly here. Its a fucking nightmare for the elementary school teachers.
post #267 of 562
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FtRoyalty View Post
Consider different means of assessment. Have the students design a movie poster if the book were made into a movie or write a theme song for the book. Give the students the choice to write, draw, etc. I work with a lot of low readers, and I have to get creative. If I ask them to write too much, they will shut down. Also, graphic novels and magazines are good to have around. I have had more male students ask me what a word means from reading old Game Informers than reading any required reading. How about reading circles?

Other thoughts: Offer extra credit for writing book reviews and keep them in your class. Students will more likely read something if they hear about it from another student rather than an adult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBrown85 View Post
This just demonstrates that extrinsic rewards aren't a motivating factor for those students- there needs to be something there that they find useful or interesting.

Are you wanting them to be productively occupied or seriously work/finish the journals? I wonder if giving choice is the way to go in that situation- ask them what they'd rather do and hold them to it. Personally I hated writing in journals (that were never 'really' journals if we were told a specific direction to take or questions to answer). Are the journals in response to reading they've done or just unit-related questions.

Maybe the journals themselves could be a method of authentic self-assessment. "I want you to write about your progress in this class, your goals and what you feel like both of us could work on better. When we have our meeting, we'll discuss what you wrote and other things."

If they'd rather talk, give them a small project that they could collaborate on and still be social. "Explain a chapter of your book to your group and come up with a skit." or something...

Just shouting out ideas, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FtRoyalty View Post
I only read maybe one or two educational articles on independent reading but both agreed it is most effective when there is no grade attached to it i.e. reading for the sake of reading

Thanks. this is essentially what I do. They choose the book, as long as the genre is historical fiction, history non-fiction, or about a current social issue kids face in their lives (just about every book in our classroom libraries is one of these). I call it a journal for lack of a better term, their response has no mandated structure to it. It can be notes, a response, pictures, and doesn't need to be done in a book. As far as how I assess it, they know (I told them) that I will never judge how they responded, as long as they did. I encourage them to try different things, act out skits, create ads, etc...and the only thing I grade is that they 1) have a book to read at all times, and 2) have some kind of response attempted. I don't know how much more choice I can give. Re; the group work, my whole class centers on it, and this is one of the few activities that thay do that are truly independent (plus maybe one class activity a week and their HW). Maybe I'll just ask them what they'd rather be doing and have them do it, but part of me is hanging on to that old school teacher mentality of "Jesus, I'm giving you a choice of a thousand things, and you're not doing any of them, now you're gonna have to do what I tell you." And will all this talk about choice and differentiation that we're hearing, we're forgetting the learners who need to be told what to do.
post #268 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
ITT: We drink heavily

http://gallery.me.com/gomem/100073/I...12776608440002
Yes.


...but not all the time...
http://gallery.me.com/gomem/100086/I...12776623140001

http://gallery.me.com/gomem/100359/D...12914702360001
...sometimes we actually teach.
post #269 of 562
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinhilion View Post
NYR- I was wondering your opinion of the regents. I am in college in texas and can tell the tests were to a much higher level then the tacs tests here. Granted things like the ever present dbqs I see in your pictures were easy for most advanced kids but they did teach basic reading comprhension.

I think standardized testing in general isn't very helpful as conditions that students live in vary greatly from place to place. I do think they have value as there does need to be some sort of assessing how students can achieve and if anything, advanced tests like the Regents exams can do that, but they essentially eliminate many students who happen to be less fortunate. However, putting that fact aside, it does kind of become a good standardized test for "those who can".
post #270 of 562
Thread Starter 
Those of you who do teach in levels below HS, how do you deal with your co-workers?

As a man in an "elementary" setting, I get so frustrated with many of them. I feel they are very weak minded, don't question ANYTHING, and then bitch about the circumstances they find themselves in. Then you have the opposite, those who are so strong minded that they don't care what anyone tells them, they do what they feel is best, get reemed out when things don't work out, and then bitch about the circumstances they find themselves in. Even the men I work with. I wind up spending most of my time alone preparing instead of collaborating with these people because they drive me up a fucking wall. Its like there is no middle ground for them. There's also such underlying cut throat competition at staff meetings where if a teachers makes a suggestion that administration likes, that teacher is ostracized by his or her peers. There's also a sense of "my job is harder/more important than yours" where I work as well, which I know is due to the standardized testing and promotional criteria (have to pass Math and ELA) and in my school the two lead teachers in those subjects (and the entire grade's ELA staff) are not even certified in those areas. Is this something that is just in my school (I've worked in only one school for ten years - aside from summer school) or is it throughout?

Sorry, just needed to blow off a little steam and hopefully hear some useful tips on how to deal with it.
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