New Development in Team Drama

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    OK - so as I've posted before, I went through serious drama with my grade level this summer. At the very end of June our principal told us that we have to regroup our kids for reading and math so they will physically switch classes based on the academic level they enter with for this school year. I am really against this idea and it has just been weighing on me this summer. If the principal had told us in April, I would have seriously looked for another job. We had a meeting with just the teachers afterward and it got sooooo ugly, trying to work out the details of scheduling and procedures, we disagreed at every turn-they just weren't concerned with what's best for the kids-they are only 5 years old after all.

    Anyway, here's the new development - our principal just let us know he is resigning. I don't know yet who will take his place, our AP doesn't have a lot of experience so I don't think they will promote from within. Here's my question, do I go in and plead my case to try to be self-contained next year, which would make me enjoy this upcoming year so much more (if they agreed). Or will that make me look like I am not a team player and make a negative first impression? I know people are going through a lot more serious drama than this, but I thought I'd ask. Your advice means a lot to me- what would you do?
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm impulsive and would plead my case. But I'd wait for some more veteran teachers to give their advice. I usually do the wrong thing. But I think even if someone told me to step back on this one, I'd still plead my case because I'm super passionate and can't stand to just stand by while something that really, really does not feel right happens. And switching at the Kindergarten level is really, really not right.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Personally, I would go in and plead the case. Bring in research that backs up your point that they will learn more effectively in a self-contained. Wishing you good luck!
     
  5. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I would plead your case. Five year olds are too young to be switching classes. Our school was going to do a school wide switch for math and reading to accommodate the gifted and it didn't happen because the first and second grades were not in favor of their kids switching. It is what is best for the children. They can only say no but at least you tried.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I would plead my case, but be sure and make it about the kids and not the team. I don't like to switch kids in fourth - I can't imagine it in first!
     
  7. AggieTchr2006

    AggieTchr2006 Rookie

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    I would talk to the new principal. You know that 5 year olds thrive on routine, and having them switching classes is too much.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's totally possible the new principal won't agree with 5 year olds swithcing classes...Once the new principal is hired why not stop by , introduce yourself and feel him/her up on the topic? Better yet, could you get in contact with your team and see how they feel about approaching the new guy with this question? if all of you don't want it, don't think it's good for the kids, a united front might be the way to go. :up:
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I'd talk to both the team & the principal. I'd have research to back me up, saying that switching is not in the best interest of the kids.

    IMHO, people want to do this because it is easier to teach 1 level then it is to differentiate.

    I'm totally against switching classrooms in lower el!

    When I did it in K, (1 of us taught phonics & the other science), I found it very difficult to know exactly where my kids were. Yup, I was the one teaching science. It also didn't allow me to integrate subjects which I try & do all the time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  10. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    I would ask your team first. You don't want to be the outcast to the new principal first. Your principal might believe in having K in self-contained classrooms. Switching classes for ability grouping is making a comeback. Our principal also wants us to do this year but across grade levels (i.e.-if a 2nd grader is at a K level they would come to K for reading and math instruction)-needless to say, there was a minor uproar and K will be still having their self-contained classrooms!! ;)
     
  11. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    At this point who are you going to plead your case to? I would wait until you know who the new principal will be and what their opinion will be on the matter.I think it is ridiculous to switch children at the kindergarten level. They are first getting used to school and one teacher,to now have to deal with all that movement and teachers seems like a recipe for disaster.How are you going to judge their level of ability at 5 years of age?I also think this might lead to parent complaints about their child's placement at such an early age.Good luck.
     
  12. cb4pebbles

    cb4pebbles Companion

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    I didn't want to do this in 3rd grade at my school, but everyone else wanted to give it a try. I disagreed and took my opinion and research to my boss trying to argue my point. She still wanted to give it a try so I asked to be moved to a lower grade. I was moved to 1st. Two years have since passed with the 3rd grade changing classes. It has been unsuccessful and they will be going back to self-contained this year.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That is good advice czacza - unfortunately that's part of where my co-workers and I disagree - they very much want to regroup and I think that's why the principal decided to "make" us do it this year, their request. I had a relative of our G/T coordinator last year and she was really happy with the work we did in my class. Therefore this year, she was planning on giving me most of the G/T kids. The other teachers, I believe, see regrouping as a way not to get "stuck" with (their words ) the low kids. One of the reasons our meeting went so awry was that they even wanted to switch every 9 weeks who has what group-so it would be fair to everybody. So much for consistency with young kids - you know how much teaching time it would waste reviewing procedures, new seating charts, trying to figure out where they are and what's already been done with them. I cannot even articulate how much I really don't want to do it. The other teachers can still do it, but I really want to remain self-contained.

    Thank you guys all so much! Sometimes I think I get ideas and they are just ridiculous or I don't think through the consequences. I wish you guys worked at my school! I would love to work for people who actually were concerned with what's best for the kids! Anyone have any idea where to start finding research to back this opinion up?
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Do a google search & click on the ERIC ones. Or go to a college library & do a search from there.
     
  15. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I think your new principal needs to know that this might happen and go on. He/she may never even expect that the k's would have to go to diff. classrooms for diff. subjects. Like others have said, I would inform the principal but might not please my case. I would just be open and tell him/her about it.
     
  16. MsTeacher98

    MsTeacher98 Companion

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    Oh my- as a parent, I would be *very* upset if they wanted my son to switch classes in Kindergarten. He is already so anxious about school that he cries when we mention it. It will be crucial that he makes connections with his teacher and classmates. I imagine that many, many K kids are in the same boat. I would mention backlash of parents- most admin will hear that loud and clear.
     
  17. TeachinHicks

    TeachinHicks Comrade

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    I agree, as a parent I would be horribly upset if I found out my daughter was going to be changing classes. I think that's way to young!!! I would definitely take research to the new P or at least your team and mention about the parents. Good Luck in this situation :)
     
  18. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    I can't believe they are even considering having K switch. THey are too young and not ready for that. I would plead your case. It would be in the best interest for the kiddos.
     
  19. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I agree that you need to talk to your team again first. You don't want to look like you're going behind their backs. If they still think it's best to have kindergartners floating around and not bonding with one person, then I would tell them that you feel so strongly about it that you are going to talk to the principal. Ask if any one of them would like to go with you to explain their side.

    Make sure you let the team know that it has nothing to do with their teaching and whether or not you think they are good teachers.

    The new principal could be the type who doesn't want to rock the boat the first year on the job, but also doesn't like the idea. He/she may be in complete agreement with you. Who wouldn't?
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sounds like more than anything your district needs to look at how you do class placement, not how you teach literacy. There's no reason why one teacher should get all the G/T kids- those kids shoud be spread around (anyway it's a bit early to even identify those kids, don't you think?)...There should be a balance of high, medium, low abilities in each room (heterogenous grouping) as well as an even mix of boys/girls, ethnicities, problem parents, discipline problems, pull outs, etc...I think re-vamping your procedures to ensure fair and balanced class placement would go a LONG way in how your team feels about their own classes as well as how you feel about each other...
     
  21. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I do agree with you to an extent. Our school used to have one G/T class on each grade level and started to come away from that the past couple of years. The other K teachers are very much worksheet teachers and the administration felt the kids were not being challenged as much as they should be. When a G/T child starts K reading at a 1st Grade level and leaves reading at that same level, there is an issue and that was what was happening in the other classes, that's why I think they chose to put more in my class. I could have said, no I don't want those kids, but honestly, I have never done that with any class list, I take what I'm given.

    We do have an extensive test that the kids take at 4-years old to identify if the parents apply- I do question the accuracy of that label and do understand resentment if the population seems skewed, but I didn't have anything to do with that choice. I guess my issue is, if you are going to do heterogeneous grouping, why then regroup the kids for the core subjects? I guess that's something I'll just have to consider. I'm definitely going to take it up with the new principal once they get settled. The worst that can happen is they say "no" and think I'm rocking the boat - but honestly, I think sometimes you need to rock the boat.

    Thanks again everyone for your advice. I really appreciate it.
     
  22. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    Welcome to what I believe is the future of education. As more schools and districts move to standards-based programs that require kids to reach certain standards before they are allowed to move on to the next "level," (with the goal of eliminating "social promotion") this leveling and grouping of kids by ability is going to become more common. I don't think it's entirely a bad thing - we have long grouped kids by ability for reading, for example, and it just makes sense - but I also have trouble switching the little ones, grades 1 and 2, so often. It does certainly require team teachers to get along and work closely together.

    My school is planning to switch kids for reading, writing, and math this year, grades 1-5, and I worry about it. I guess we will keep our own kids for science/social studies and thematic things. But I can just see meeting parents at conferences and having to apologize, "Well, I don't see your child for reading, math or writing, but here's how she's doing!" And I worry about how we will create classroom communities and a "team atmosphere," when the kids are moving around all the time. That said, I think this practice is coming for more and more schools as we look for and demand more accountability.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That's definitely one issue I have with it. Also in Kinder we can't just give them a test each week to see what progress they are making, some of them enter without even being able to write their names. Usually you rely on informal observations you make while they are working; well, I won't see them working. I will have to do more formal assessments each week to test how many letters/sounds, etc they know - like they aren't assessed enough already. I am also the one ESL certified and what's the point of putting those kids on my roster and then not allowing me to do the modifications I know they need.

    My other issue is I really like to tie everything together. My Social Studies lesson might revert back to the story I read this morning, oh, wait, 2/3's of my class didn't hear that story. I know there might be good things about it, but for me, I don't think it outweighs the deficiencies. I'm ready to face it this year with a smile if it's required, I'm just really hoping this new principal may see it my way and not require it-fingers crossed.
     

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