Retained child (in my class next year)

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by maroki, May 23, 2008.

  1. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    May 23, 2008

    I just found out yesterday that one of my reading students is going to be retained. He isn't in my homeroom class, but we are a Reading First school so I see him at least 2 hours a day for reading instruction. I am very familiar with him, his work habits, ability levels, etc...

    I have until next Wednesday to decide if I want to be the 1st grade teacher to have him next year. The teacher he has this year isn't remaining in 1st grade next year, and we aren't quite sure who else will be teaching 1st grade. One kindergarten teacher is looping up with her students so won't be accepting outside students, so that just leaves three possibilities (myself included). When I first heard he might be retained, I didn't think I could have him in my classroom. He is a very sweet boy, but he doesn't even have beginning kindergarten skills and has absolutely no ability to work independently. Even if I sit next to him and "monitor" him, he cannot work unless I am interacting with him and basically keeping my finger on his paper and keeping him on track. I have 25 students in my class this year and can't imagine how I would have the time next year for that much 1-on-1 if I have that many students again. Nonetheless, I am strongly considering having him in my class next year. I have built up quite a relationship with him this year and I feel like having a jump on his ability/work habits could really start the year off well for him and that we'd be on our way to a successful year!

    I tried explaining to my husband last night why I feel drawn to keep this child, but he couldn't quite understand. I'm not sure exactly who the other teachers are next year, but of the ones who might end up teaching 1st grade I don't believe any of them would be a really good fit for him. My husband said it seems like an extreme amount of work, frustration, and stress for me, not to mention heartbreak if I don't make as much of a difference as I'm expecting.

    Have any of you experienced anything like this? Do you understand where I'm coming from? Am I crazy for really wanting to keep this kid in my class next year, really believing and hoping that I can make a big difference?
     
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  3. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    May 23, 2008

    I had a student of mine repeat first grade with me for a second year. I think that if there is a strong connection between you and you have a good understanding of his academic needs it can be very benificial for the child.
     
  4. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    May 23, 2008

    When is this child's birthday?
    Even though I am now past middle age, I cannot help think how much more successful I would have been in school, and in life, had I been retained. Part of my problem was an unusual learning disabilty, but an equally significant factor was my age. I have a Halloween birthday, so I went to school with some children who were more than a full year older than me whose brains were far more developed.

    Therefore, if you discover that he is very young, he could be a pleasant surprise and you can watch him grow in achievement and confidence, as the tables will now be turned. His disadvantage will become an advantage.
    If he is of normal age, however, you can still make a tremendous difference, but the results might be less rewarding since his difficulties would not be age related.
    Never underestimate the extreme relevance of a child's age during these crucial years of brain development.
    The age deadline should be pushed back to September 2. I bet there would be far fewer needed retentions.
     
  5. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    May 23, 2008

    I'm not exactly sure. I know he won't turn 7 before school ends (June 19) so he has a fairly late birthday.

    Thank you for your positive points. I hadn't spent much time thinking about how much he might grow and change over the summer...it may be like dealing with a new student next year! (Although, regardless, I believe my familiarity with him will help.)
     
  6. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    May 24, 2008

    Many times the 2nd time students go through K ad 1st grade, things really start to click for them. He may surprise you. And you will be able to work on helping him become more independent from the first day of school. He can kind of be your helper with things that he knows, but the other 1st graders won't.
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 24, 2008

    You should take him!!! He may not make it to the level you are hoping for but even a little bit of growth would be wonderful and he already has a relationship with you so it may be easier for him to settle in.

    I am retaining a little girl this year. She knew one letter in Feb. Now she knows 27!!!! It is such a wonderful feeling when they learn. 27 might not seem like a huge gain but for her it is wonderful!

    Best of luck with what ever you decide to do. It must be nice to have the choice.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    May 24, 2008

    I think you should take him... after all, he will be 7 all year, right? That IS a first grader! He is probably one of those kids who entered kindergarten too young and developmentally needs time to grow. You may find that he is just the right fit for your class this year.
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    May 24, 2008

    Ok, so there is a chance I will be teaching "real" reading next year to my perspective first grade class, so um, am I correct in not understanding this? Aren't there only 26 letters? What am I not understanding??? If there are more than 26 letters, I'm in trouble!

    Maybe you are including blends and diagraphs or something?
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    May 24, 2008

    You include upper and lowercase 26 + 26 and the two forms of letter g and two forms of letter a for a total of 54. The two forms are the regular print ball and stick form and the kind that the tail makes another circle on the g and the a looks like "a", both are from Times Roman print. They are included because so many books use this typeface that students need to be able to recognize them however they come.
     
  11. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

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    May 26, 2008

    I am in the exact same situation you are in. I teach 1st grade and am holding back a 1st grade girl. It is funny, but it seems like she 'woke up' about February. At the beginning of the year she would fall asleep in class a lot, zone out, and then became a major cheat. She is just now beginning to take off, but unfortunately she is way behind her peers. They are reading 50+ words a minute and she is at 9wpm, but she now knows all of her letter sounds and many vowel diagraphs/dipthongs/etc.

    I also have a SPED student who sounds like the one you are describing, although he was already held back in Kindergarten. I would just encourage you to take him, I assume that he is now he would be advanced for beginning first grade. I would think this would help him be a little more independant, especially with praise; Wow, you did that all on your own without me standing here. You should be proud of yourself.

    My 2 cents anyway
     
  12. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    May 26, 2008

    I had a student a couple of years ago that sounds just like this little boy when I taught 2nd grade. I spoke with the parents and they agreed for him to be retained as long as I did keep him. You wouldn't believe the difference that retention made. He earned the honor roll both semesters the next year in third grade and also this year in 4th. It was very beneficial in my opinion that I had already developed a relationship with the child and he was able to achieve success the next year. I know in this child's case his birthday was the day before the "cut off" for the school year.
     
  13. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    May 26, 2008

    You should definitely keep him. Yes, you know he is a challenge. But you know him! A new teacher will likely spend at least several weeks trying to figure out what works best for him - and you already know! I assume everyone else is going to have the same class size as you, so the 1-on-1 time would be the same no matter where he is.

    Also, if his issues are more than just lack of maturity, you can/should start the ball rolling early in the year to get some additional help for him.
     

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