10.13.2010

Incompetence

I really hope I spelled the title right! It would be ironic, wouldn't it?

Anyway, most teachers at my site get an aide (paraeducator, whatever) for 30 minutes a day. And, this is during our "focus time", so all but 4 of my kids are gone to other classes. My kids that are with me during that time, along with the other 7 I get from other classes work with me and the aide. If I could, I would do it all on my own.

I have to write out directions as to what I want done - specifically! I can't just tell her. I have to write it down like I am leaving instructions for a sub. Or a monkey. Either way, it's more time out of my day - time I don't always have! If I don't leave instructions and just tell her, she will do whatever she wants. It bugs me since I tell her what to do and get nothing in return! And, even when she does follow directions, she won't give the kids any extra little help. Um, have I mentioned I have the lows? And they aren't always the quickest at figuring things out? I have them for 30 minutes, and by the time she gets in htere, it's like 25 and by the time they start working it's like 20. And I read with both groups each day!

I have tried different ways of getting through to her, but nothing seems to work. I've talked with my grade level, but they all feel the same way. Well, all but one, and the one thinks she is wonderful, so I didn't ask her. And it really bothers me that she is so OK with not doing what I ask. Or making fun of the kids for not getting it. It's not like I don't know they don't get it, but that's why we are here! I just get frustrated in those 30 minutes when I say one thing and get another totally different thing.

On a side note, I have had my own moments of incompetence this week. I decided to do project to go with our anthology story for reading about the seasons. Each day, we make a picture and write about a season. There are ideas on the board and then kids use them to make them into sentences. I have to say, they are doing very well. Much better than I have expected.

But, here is my big teacher fail! I am working with my lowest and lower kids on writing. We are writing all together, writing all the same thing. We talk about how to write the sentence, what words start with, etc. One of my students, who is very low, doesn't work at home, the whole thing, has been driving me bonkers! She is the only one who refuses to write her sentences with a capital letter. I ask her (again and again and again...) and she will tell me capital and then write it small. She did that 5 times today for the same letter. And about 4 times yesterday for the same letter. I finally just gave up and wrote it for her. I feel like all week I have been riding her to do it correctly and she gives me a look like she doesn't care. I totally lost my cool with her today and let it affect my whole day. Same with math today. I had 2 kids who were in lala land and had no idea what we were doing. I ended up losing it again with them, right when another teacher came in. I looked like an idiot...and a bitch. But, I was tired and frustrated and I had had it when I asked one boy a question and he just stared at me without giving me an answer. I hate that! But, not that it's an excuse, but I think PMS is roaring it's ugly head this week. My poor kids! I will have to be nicer tomorrow!
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On a completely unrelated note, hubs and I went to look at a charter school for my daughter. I felt like a traitor being there. I felt like I was going to the dark side. Of course my hubby fell in love with the school for our daughter. Now, we have to wait and see what the lottery gods have to say. They only have one kinder class each year and take 25 kids. Siblings and teacher kids have first dibs. I don't think there will be much of a chance. But, she's on the list.

The school based their charter on character education. It sounds nice and more than I could do for my kids at school with the time crunch we have. But, the principal was blaming "traditional" teachers for the problems in the schools. That bugged me! I didn't raise the kids. My own, yes, but not the rest of the world! So, I don't know if I am fit to be a charter parent! Any suggestions?

2 comments:

  1. My younger two go to a charter and I proudly proclaim that. Not all charters are run the same. The organization we go through has about 60 schools across the country (mostly in the midwest but one as far as Colorado I believe). At any rate, their curriculum is challenging but the kids actually LEARN it. I love it.

    At the same time, however, I wouldn't teach for them simply because while I do think they are awesome and have fabulous teachers -- I know I am fabulous in my own right and I wouldn't like the strictness of their curriculum and behavior plan. That's just me personally though. I have never had the principal or the teachers there ever make me feel like I wasn't as good as they are because I teach traditional. In fact, many are in awe that I work where I do and love it so much. :)

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  2. Isn't it frustrating when you could be reaching so many more children if you just had a competent, willing partner in your room?

    And don't feel bad about being bitchy... Sometimes kids need to know they're not the only ones who can cop an attitude. Plus, then they appreciate all the "nice" days you have with them even more!

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