In my district, we do pinks and blues. We put general student information on the card with some test scores - EL levels, DRA levels, Little Star levels, general academic levels (1-5, 1 being low). We then take our cards and use them to form the classes for the next grade level. The cards are all subjective, based on each teachers perception of the kid. Some think a kid is high, while another teacher may have a kid at the same level and say they are medium. It doesn't give us true information, but an idea.
I just got my cards yesterday and I had a little meltdown last night. I normally don't put much into the cards, and I'm trying not to this year. But it's hard when out of 17 or 18 cards, 7 of them are so-called behavior problems. That's a lot for one class. I then looked at the teachers and think it may just be the teachers who think this. All the behaviors were from 2 teachers who work in the same class. Coincidence? And all the kids were unmotivated. And talkative. How can you be unmotivated in Kindergarten?
It looks like I have my work cut out for me. Academically, I have a good mix - about 6 high, 6 medium and 6 low. I can work with that. I have 22 kids on my roll, so I don't know who is from the school with no card, who is new, etc. I'll find out Wednesday when they all (hopefully) show up! It's the behavior that worries me. I hate it when there is one little pain in the ass who ruins it for the others. One kids' card said he was defiant and oppositional. Sounds like fun to me. I can normally whip kids into shape pretty well, but I'm a bit nervous for that one. Always something to make the year start off fun!
I do have 12 EL's in my class, but I can handle that. If it's anything like last year, they will be wonderful. For the most part, they are some of the hardest working kids whose parents actually appreciate what you do for them and want their child to succeed. The hard part is talking to the parents. I took spanish in college, but I don't use it enough and can hardly get by listening to them and understanding. Conferences are hard to get translators for. But, I manage to squeak by as best as I can!
With the summer coming to an end, it's time to get into the teacher mindset. For me, that means becoming a hard-ass at work and not giving kids an inch. I've been told I'm a really strict teacher and I like it. I don't want kids to think they can control everything, because they don't. It's too bad that parents have allowed their children to rule the roost. I am probably guilty of it myself, but I do have limits!
On a side note with that, we were at a birthday party last weekend for a 7 year old. A friend of the girl was there and the way she talked to her mother was horrible. She was very demanding of her mother, but her mother allowed her to do it. This girl sat in the pool and told the others girls that they were stupid and then blamed it on another. She actually stuck her fingers into the cake frosting before it was cut, just for fun. And the mother did nothing!!!! WTH? And we wonder why the kids are out of control when they come to school?!?!?! Um, I have an idea! Too bad parents don't take more responsiblity for their children.
Anyway, I am going to enjoy my last weekend of the summer with my family, do a little camping and sightseeing and be ready to head back to work on Tuesday. Tuesday is teacher work day and probably meet some of the kids who come to see the class list and be prepared for Wednesday. Wednesday bright and early will be time to meet my kids! Ready or not, here I come!