At the school I am at, we do a daily intervention with the kids. Each grade level has a time slot. The kids are all moved around, depending on their levels. For our first grade, we have 3 classes for ELD and the other 4 classes are for the English speakers. They are broken down into the lows, the highs, and 2 grouops of mediums who are the same level. This is done so the 2 teachers who don't get along don't have to share their kids. It's pretty freakin' ridiculous if you ask me, but no one did, so I guess it doesn't matter.
Anway, we switch every day after our first recess. Kids go all over. I take the lows. I have always taken the lows when I have the chance. I love it. But this year I am questioning my abilities. Our lows are so low. Some really should have never come out of Kindergarten. They probably should never have been in Kindergarten last year to begin with, but again, no one asked me. And to top it off, one of the teachers got a new boy last week who is the son of the devil. He is a mean, evil kid. And he is the lowest in the group and the oldest and he gives the meanest looks and kicks like a son of a gun. Yeah, I have been kicked by him. Yay. I enjoyed my time, until he came along. He makes me hate this time. But he may be moving already. I am hoping, praying he moves. I will go help his family pack. And I only have him for 30 minutes! Glad I don't him all day long!
When we do the swtiching, I only have the English speaking kids. It pains me because some of my lowest kids are EL's and they are working on the ELD program, not on reading, which is what they so desperatly need. This is a big reason why I don't like the switching is because the EL's don't get the same help as the EO's and they need it the same, if not more. But, this is CA and we are required by law to teach 30 minutes of ELD to the kids. I wish the parents would realize what their child is missing and try to change the law, but they won't. These are the parents who won't talk for fear of being found out that they are here illegally and sent back to Mexico. These are some of the parents who feel that it's our job to teach their children and that they can't do it because they don't speak the language. Well, I do what I can, but it is your responsibility, too! Luckily, some parents know that, but not enough.
I get frustrated with the "focus time" as it's called because I have 30 minutes to try to get something into the kids. And one of the teachers who doesn't really want to join in with the grade level puts too much into the focus time and thinks that this is the make or break for her kids. I have them for 30 minutes, you have them for the rest of the day. Um, I can only do so much! But I still feel that responsibility to hopefully get them to learn something. And it;s worse with my own kids who are in there. I feel that they are getting double the help, so why aren't they moving along better?
But I know the answers, really. Lack of parental help, immaturity, and it's the beginning of the year. Some kids still aren't ready for the full day of school. So, I will continue to bust my butt in and out of focus group and hope for the best!