By Shawn Jensen. 4th Grade Math. Published at Monday, November 16th, 2020 - 12:37:04 PM.
It should also be noted that my school follows a time allocation chart in which each subject is assigned a specific number of minutes per week by grade level. Lunch, recess, special classes, computer lab time, math, reading, social studies, science, physical education, writing, and rest time are all charted down to the minute. My school has about 350 students, until the spring of each year when we get an additional 50 students who are the children of migrant workers in the local blueberry fields. I consider the school to be medium-size. One of the complications we face each year is that we share our music, physical education, and art teachers with three other elementary schools. Different teachers are at the school on different days. This makes a cookie-cutter daily schedule simply impossible.
Determination is like having your own private football linebacker. Linebackers are part of the defensive team, who provide extra protection to the quarterback. When we show inordinate amounts of determination, we become more resistant to set-backs. The linebacker in us refuses to let the opposition take us down. In a blitz, the linebacker sacks or hurries the opposing offenses quarterback. The linebacker in us will either pursue and demolish the obstacle, or at the very least, apply enough pressure to hurry the play. To have your dreams, youll have to weave and bob around unending obstacles, persist through waves of discouragement (even heartbreak), and charge fiercely towards your goal like a linebacker with the red of blitz in his eye. Who said you couldnt learn anything from football.
In elementary school, classroom teachers are responsible for teaching the many ELA standards. In middle and senior high school, the English teachers share responsibility with content areas of science, history, social studies and technology. To put it differently, all teachers will have to be knowledgable about these standards and just how they refer to their unique subject of study. The reading standards are classified into four areas: handling key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration expertise and concepts, plus the choice of reading and level of text complexity. Basically, students must understand content, distinguish among important and less important ideas and analyze the information. While doing this, students should comprehend the vocabulary, the language and evaluate how perspective and purpose affects craft issues. While reading widely from print and digital media, students should be able to evaluate, analyze and synthesize information. Particularly crucial, in line with the standards is the fact that students are comfortable using a range of text complexities.
The "rules" and "guidelines" for schools are complex and dictated to them by the prevailing winds of politics, either state, federal or both. How they approach instruction depends on many factors, the most telling being that they have been identified as a "school in crisis". Remediation Remediation has been used consistently in the past but generally is not approved for schools in crisis. The purpose was to work with students at their reading/math level until they mastered the skills allowing them to achieve at the level and pace of their peers. This approach may be appropriate for the child who is slightly behind his class, either because he had a long-term absence or other factors interfered with his learning at the time the skills were taught. The problem with remediation has always been that teachers taught the students the skills for which they assumed the students were now ready. They have not addressed the missing skills (possibly skills that should have been in place years before that teacher ever met the child) that caused the reading/math skills to be low in the first place.
Now, coincidentally, during this same time period, I was pregnant with my first child. As many first-time mothers-to-be, I bought an over-abundance of things in anticipation of the arrival of my first child. One evening, I had purchased some simple inset puzzles... the ones that dont have interlocking pieces. There was a puzzle with vehicles, each cut to fit in its own separate cut-out space, each with a little red knob for small hands to manipulate. Another puzzle had animals, while a third had people. I realized when I arrived at work the next morning, that I had forgotten to take the bag containing the puzzles out of my car. Because my school was located in a part of the city were car break-ins were common, the administrator had directed staff to leave nothing of value in our cars during the day. I carried the bag of puzzles into the classroom and put it on the floor beside my desk.
A few minutes later I sent her an email and apologized. She responded to my email a few days later with a simple Apology Accepted, an emoji thumbs up, and a wish for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Just like that I had apologized, and she accepted. It was over. Something I have worried about on and off for almost 40 years was over. Im not sure what I was afraid of or what I expected to feel, its not like she would have actually called me, its not like Id bump into at the grocery store, we lived almost 1,000 miles from each other, but I was still afraid. I guess I expected to make my amends and feel great, like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, but I didnt. I expected to see unicorns outside my window sliding down a rainbow giving me a high five, but I didnt see that either. I just thought to myself, OK check that off the list.
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