In 2 weeks (and 2 days, but who's counting), I will be staring at 20 something new faces. I don't have a list of names yet, so I have no idea who I am getting. It's the unknown to me. I wish I had some sort of an idea, just so I know if I have siblings of former students or I could start looking through their kinder file to see what they know (or don't know as it turns out for a lot of them). Maybe next week I will be lucky. We'll see!
Each year, it's been different as to how classes are made. I've been at 3 different schools and they all do it a different way. At my first school, we did them as a grade level, putting kids in the classes based on their EL levels, and then put in the remaining kids where they fit (we had a lot of EL's). At my 2nd school, the principal, who was hard core control freak, was in charge. Once, she placed kids all by herself one summer. Not the greatest year after! Other times she was with us, but she was in charge, not us. Now, at my 3rd school, we do it as a grade level. It works OK, but we have the one teacher who doesn't talk to us, so she took it upon herself to place her kids where she wanted them and would not budge when it came time to shuffle kids around based on need. Anyway, the kids go where they go. I don't have any strong feelings one way or another towards the 2nd grade teachers, so whoever they get, they get.
Anyway, I am always nervous when I don't know who my kids are. You hear stuff from the year before about this kid or that kid and you hope you don't get them. A few years ago, I taught Developmental first grade. It wasn't recognized by the district or anything, but we did it at my school. I will post about that later. I got to hand pick the students for the class. Mind you, I was picking the kids who didn't have a clue they had been in Kinder all year. But, I didn't pick behavior problems. Or major ones, anyway! I was lucky in that aspect!
A few years ago, like 10 or so, I had a class that was half siblings from 2 years before. I loved it. I knoew the parents, they knew me and knew what I would have their kids do. Again, they weren't all the best and brightest, but it worked! I think I would rather have siblings, just for the known factor. But, as I say that, I hope to goodness I don't get a sibling of one this year. I went round and round with the mother last year and she's just one excuse after another (in Spanish of course, so you can't just tell her what you really want to say!). The sister is coming up form Kinder and I have a feeling I will get her. Ugh! I am getting another sibling, but I requested her. She's super low, super sweet and already has her mother telling her she can't do anything. The sister is repeating first and left me with the confidence she needed, so let's hope her mom didn't squash that over summer!
But, whatever comes my way, I teach them as best I can. I just hope that they are willing learners, kind souls and are ready to make the best of it. It's sad to think that there are 1st graders who don't care, thanks to all the shit life has handed them in their young age. I had 2 last year who didn't care what they learned or if they learned. I was very sad and disheartening. And, they banded together to wreak havoc on the class. It wasn't fun and I was glad to see them go, knowing that next year will be a fight and they may get a teacher who doesn't care!