*UPDATE* 5 days in... I'm so unhappy. Combo class, need serious help!!! I've updated at the end of the thread.. This is a vent in addition to a cry for help, so keep that in mind as you read my whiny tirade please! I LOVE to teach. I had a fabulous year last year. I work in a fabulous school in a district that is making huge strides towards improvement - and we worship the almighty test score. This year, it was decided that we would departmentalize the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. We ended up with a third grade class where all of the students are predicted to score well on state testing (based on grades and SRI scores), a fourth grade class with student who perform well on state exams, a 3/4 combination class with students who either are not predicted to score well or have not scored well, and the same groups for 5th and 6th. I am responsible for teaching the 3, 4 and 3/4 classes Math. No biggie, I love teaching Math. The straight 3 class and the straight 4 class is a dream, although I'm getting used to only having them for 90 minutes, and the switching classes is a pain. The 3/4 class has me considering changing careers after only 5 days. I'm kind of kidding there. It takes us 10-15 minutes to come into the classroom and sit down. I timed how long it took to put a heading on a sheet of paper - 23 minutes. We need 20 minutes to pack up and transition to the next class. The combo class is HUGE (in my opinion, and based on what I have experienced in past years) at 25 kids - several with IEP's, behavior plans, and most with extremely poor academics. YES, I should have more support. YES, I have students who need one on ones that they do not have. I am *hoping* that as far as that, things are just rough because it is the beginning of the year. YES - departmentalizing is (in my opinion) stupid at this grade level. I am not upset about the students lack of ability. It's my job to teach them, afterall. However, I cannot work with small groups because the students do not have the ability to work independently. A task that I predict will take 3 minutes (writing your name on your paper!) takes one student 5 and other 10. Tips, help, suggestions - please! I KNOW that right now, the school is not doing what they are supposed to do. That is out of my control. I need help with inside of the classroom. There has to be a way to make this work, I just can't see what it is right now. :help: :help: :help: Thanks for reading!