Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by l8ybugmom, Sep 3, 2009.
Sep 4, 2009
Such amazing news!! Congratulations!!!
It was just an amazing, roller-coaster day! Oh I have to share what a great kid I have....
My husband is out of town so we couldn't do the big celebration as a family but I decided I'd take the kids out to Red Robin for a mini celebration. So at the end of the meal, the waitress brings our check and says, "I have something else for the table." Didn't know what she meant because we didn't order anything. She brings out an ice-cream sundae and a spoon with balloons attached to it to congratulate me on getting a job. My son apparently told them that I had gotten a job and was there anything special they could do for his mom. Isn't that the sweetest? He's 15 and I am assured that I have raised a good young man!
That's so cute!!! What a thoughtful young man you have there. Not many 15 year olds would think to do that for their mom! Congratulations again, and best of luck!
That was so nice of your son!
Congratulations on your new job! Work hard and succeed!
I'm very lucky! Ya know, though, as much as we struggle to find a job; it is also a struggle for our families. In particular our kids. Think about it. Those of us with kids make a big deal out of an interview and get our families excited. They've seen me cry many times over this. So he knew I had really worked hard to get this.
Awww, how sweet of your son!
That was so nice of your son; you have definitely done a good job of raising him!
Sep 5, 2009
The literacy coach called me today because the P wants me to come in to train to use their literacy program. The P asked me Friday if I minded coming in even though I wouldn't be under contract--of course I don't mind...Are you kidding me? Anyway, I'm VERY excited about this...They used a balanced literacy program and they do not use basals. I asked what they did use and she said they used leveled readers, Time for Kids, chapter books, etc. AWESOME! I hate some of those stories in basals so this works out well. AND I think in 5th they should be reading chapter books to get them ready for middle school. She also mentioned something about Words Their Way and I looked it up--very interesting as well. Anyway, I'm going in on Wed morning to watch her do a literacy block with 3rd graders and on Thursday, I'll watch her do guided reading with fifth graders (I'm assuming with my class) and I'll stay after school for literacy training. She said she is going to help me with anything I need so don't go out and buy anything just yet. Plus, she is also new to the city schools (actually from Brevard County, FL) so she'll be attending new teacher training with me. She also mentioned that everyone in fifth (only 3 of us) are new to the city--2 new teachers and 1 new to the state. I was hoping to have someone to lean on who had been in fifth and in the school for awhile. But I'm choosing to look at this as a positive thing since we're all new, no one will be a stickler for this is always how we've done it, ya know?
Balanced literacy is more difficult than basals, but so worth it! It's great to use the chapter books in your instruction and see how much they get into it! It sounds like you're going to have a great year there. Have fun!
Harder? How? Because you don't have a guideline like in the basals?
Well in my instance, it was harder for me as far as being prepared for it each day. I was *somewhat* trained in it last year, and it was difficult for me to find time to read each chapter book for each guided reading group and remember all the little details from each section (having 4 or 5 reading groups means 4 or 5 chapter books to read and trying to remember details from each one! lol). Of course I had notes to refer back to and discussion questions to ask, but I remember being a little flustered at times. But nothing that's not manageable. I think the reason I like balanced literacy the most is because you really have the freedom to tailor each mini lesson to their needs.
Oh I see. Did you find the literacy guides for the individual books helpful? I saw they had tons at the teacher supply store.
I know it's a little delayed, but CONGRATS!
Sep 6, 2009
That sounds so great! I would do the same thing, it's a great chance to get to know your new P and your school! Sounds like a good program, too! I was trained in words their way for my credential program and it is great, you'll llove it. Have fun!
Congrats!! 5th grade is awesome!
I just logged in after so many weeks not on this site just to see if YOU got a job! See how it all paid off for you? I'm SO happy for you and FIFTH GRADE is the BEST grade to teach- EVER! Congrats!
Congrats! Things happen for a reason and the waiting can be agonizing! Good Luck in 5th Grade! You will rock them!
Sep 7, 2009
Balanced literacy is more difficult than the basal (but worth the effort) because you are not going to have the day by day teaching guide. BUT, it is so worth the effort. Kids have an opportunity to self select books on their Just Right level. They are more apt to really read rather than skim, and seem to enjoy reading so much more. Keeping yourself focused and having a mini-lesson for each day is key. Also, make sure you get in your reflection at the end of each lesson. Reflection is really an important component that gets overlooked. Best of luck! Take the training and tell me what you think. I am sure that you will understand more of what I am saying once you have the training. Good luck and ENJOY!
Wow...the entire grade is new? That's really something.
My lc coach actually had made guides for a bunch of the books in the book room, so when possible I tried to use those. I did do a couple on my own. They're not that difficult to make, I did a brief introduction/recap, quickly introduced new vocabulary/literary devices they would find in the next chapters they would read for that day, gave them what chapters to read, and then came back afterwards to ask them the discussion questions.
In my opinion, using a balanced literacy is much more intuitive than a basal set. Think about how grown ups read, and that's what we should do with our kids. Exposure...different types and lengths of text. I am so happy for you!
Oh I'm even more excited about the balanced literacy! A little nervous too but mostly excited. Glad to see so many of you have experience with balanced literacy so if I have questions, I know who to ask.
Yeah, McKenna...isn't it unusual for an entire grade level to be new to the school? Granted it is a small school but usually the P likes to spread the new people out.
I also want to say I feel so loved! So many of you have said you come onto here to just to check how my job hunt is going...that is sooo sweet and thoughtful of you!
I still cannot believe this is all happening and while I'm ready to get into the classroom, I'm very happy to have time to train. Then I found out I'll actually teach for 1 week, then have two weeks off for fall break (we're a yr round school). This will give me a chance to get my feet wet, then really be able to look at the curriculum and plan my lessons. I'm looking at whatever comes my way as a positive, including the rock that broke my window in the car. My daughter was outside getting something out of the car and had she been standing toward the back of the car or even in the back hatch, she would have gotten hit by the rock, which was thrown by the neighbor's lawnmower. However, we were very lucky it was just the window.
Sep 9, 2009
Observed balanced literacy in action today...very interesting. I'm a little nervous about it but I'm sure I'll do fine. Going back tomorrow to see the Guided Reading done in fifth grade, volunteering in my classroom, and then balanced literacy training in the afternoon. I didn't get to see my classroom since they were teaching and the door was closed. However, like I said I'll be volunteering in there tomorrow.
Spoke to the P and she said the school would pay for me to attend a day long writing workshop!! How exciting...I wanted to go to this anyway! I totally feel supported by the literacy coach and the P...that is such a good feeling for a new teacher!
I'll keep you guys updated on what's going...won't be able to sign my contract still until next week. The P said maybe Monday I'd take over but I'm thinking more Tuesday unless things really start rolling.
Sounds great, l8ybug!
I'm sure that you'll be hanging around the 5th grade area much more...but if you would ever like to collaborate...just IM. I'd be happy to work on anything.
Awesome, McKenna...I'll certainly take you up on that offer!!
Yay!!!!!! So sorry I missed this while in my own little world during the first week of school.
l8ybug....it takes a while to become confident in balanced literacy. Good luck...you'll do great!!!
Sep 10, 2009
Can't wait to hear about your first week. Don't keep us hanging. Be a rockstar!
Looks like my first day might be Monday or Tuesday. The P is wanting me to come in and volunteer in the classroom today and maybe tomorrow as well. I was hoping to get things done around my house tomorrow but I'll do anything to make my students feel more comfortable. Plus, it will give me the opportunity to see how things work in the classroom. I'm very excited but very nervous. I feel like I'm going to be thrown in...Good thing is, the current teacher will have my lesson plans done for me for next week. I def keep you guys updated. I
Now... this current teacher... is the one that resigned?
How is THAT going? Resentments? Venting? Thrilled to be going? What's the story with all the positions in one grade opening up?
Yes, the current teacher is the one resigning. Apparently, she had retired from an affluent private school and took a job here at a Title 1 school. Totally different for her. She just couldn't do it. I think she's happy to be going and willing to help in any way. Today will be my first time meeting her so I'll let you know. She is coming back twice over the next couple of weeks to handle conferences since the parents will be receiving report cards on those dates. Apparently, I'll be present as well so parents can meet me.
Now, the other two teachers have been there since the beginning of the year. They are new like I mentioned before but one has been teaching for years and just moved to the state and the other one is brand new like me (I think she did do a short interim in K at some point though).
I'll try to get on here and post tonight to let ya'll know how it goes.
Back from seeing my class for the first time. Whoa....is all I have to say.....The teacher has little classroom management. There are only 14 students but at least half do not know how to behave. She even says that had she known how they behaved, she would have come in with a totally different strategy...well when you saw something didn't work, why didn't you change it!? Good news is she's leaving almost everything for me (this includes things she purchased). These kids are getting up and walking around the room in the middle of instruction, not quieting down for instruction, calling each other names, etc.
We're telling the kids tomorrow and hopefully I'll start on Monday but I'm not holding my breath.
I'm going to post to fifth grade and behavior managment but if anyone has any advice, please PM me. Or if you know of a good behavior management book out there for me, please let me know. I won't be changing too much for the kids the first couple of days but I'll have to do something.
The fastest way that I know of how to get kids in order it Power Teaching (now called Whole Brain Teaching). It works. I love it. And I have done it before (as a sub) with a fifth grade that was acting out and they did a VERY good job (If I can turn things around with only one day at it...you can with a long time to work with!).
(And this will tell you about my experiences with it-as a sub:
After you watch the first video....watch the others by Chris Biffle. I think he's great. He has a game called Super Speed 1000 which will help your kids with word recognition and fluency.
In terms of management PAST getting and keeping attention... and especially working with kids who might need a tighter reign... I like Ron Clark's The Essential 55. Since you are at hyper-speed right now...you might want to check out his books-on-tape version (get the full version not the abridged one, if possible!). He did INCREDIBLE things with Title One and urban kids...and they now are always taking these incredible trips-on invitation. (He's started his own school at this point.)
Here’s a little about Ron Clark… Disney’s teacher of the Year Award Winner a FEW TIMES OVER:
For homework... I hear that homeworkopoly works very well.
Speaking of homework...and also the essential 55---he hung this banner in the hall telling the "world" that this class has had 100% homework turned in for ___1___ day. (He would ask others to stop in an congratulate them.) If they got to day 10...and every day past day 10- he made a treat for them. He said that he was baking SO much that year-but he didn't care.. what mattered was the homework being done. But if one person forgot or didn't do it...the class went back to 0. He DID talk about how to handle the anger of the class to that student...but it's also using the idea of impending anger to motivate...until it became a natural thing.
You say you won't start at the beginning...I don't know what others will tell you...But I woyld start from day ONE (I think that the words of this other teacher are indication to you that you MUST). This class NEEDS to know it's YOU that is in charge and that YOU are competent! You give them a few days to "break YOU in" and you will be playing catch up for the rest of the year.
I'd treat the first day like the first day of school...getting ot know them...introducing new rules/procedures...modeling... and getting things taken care of. You can catch up to the rest in a week or so. Right now, You MUST establish yourself as the teacher! Sounds like they NEED a strong teacher to get them together. Check out the beginning year procedures/classroom lay-out, and procedure establishment in a book by Fred Jones called Tools for Teaching. This guy doesn't take crap, and gets GREAT results:
Ok, this gets you started:
This woman started with Fred Jones (with middle school) and it made her year GREAT!
Here is Fred Jones himself...short video...but he is no-nonsense for establishing order quickly:
He's ahoot! But his methods are SUPER-effective!
He and Ron Clark both expect a LOT from their kids...and through running a tight ship..they GET it!
McKenna, you are totally awesome! Thank you sooooooo much for taking the time to post all of these links and to give me sooo much great advice! I'll definitely look at all of those.
That sounds good L8ybugmom! I will meet my kids tomorrow for the last hour of the day (they are coming from 5 other teachers). So I will play some getting to know you name games with them and read a story, talk to them. I can't wait. Then Monday I start full on teaching. One good thing, they gave me a printed staff list for the school and my name was on the list! That was so cool.
Good luck tomorrow and have fun.
Sep 11, 2009
I went in again today...Got the official word that I'm approved by the board and I'll start Monday! Soooo much to do.
The kids were told today and all of the girls started crying. The boys don't want me there but that is because this teacher is too laid back with them. I got to try out my discipline today when she left me in the room with them. I told them to stop talking and finish their map of the biomes. They only had to color the biomes in so it should have only taken them maybe 20 minutes....I had taken them 40 and only 1 out of 14 students were done. They were all quiet when she came in and they started talking again. Felt good to know that they would respond to me.
Anyway, I'll pick up my keys tomorrow and will have access to my classroom all weekend. P gave me a Wal Mart credit card so I can spend some school funds for my classroom! I don't know how much I can spend, though. She seems very supportive me and my ideas.
Very exciting stuff but I also have a lot to learn. I brought home tons of stuff including some things to grade.
Separate names with a comma.