View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:51 am



This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 9 posts ] 
 Week 1 
Author Message
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 24
The situations in this book (pgs. 1-214) resonate with me well. In my first year of teaching I taught at an inner city school in Statesville; the one that Samantha currently works at. The school was full of children of minority; mostly African Americans and Hispanics. Our poverty level was extremely low. The majority of our kids were on free lunch. Parents were rarely involved. Many children went home to a house with no parents. Most babysitted or walked the streets in the afternoons and evenings. Within the school itself were data and testing posters practically everywhere. All meetings, which were very frequent, were on "Failure not being an option!" In our meetings we looked at PDSA's (plan, do, study, act models) and CFA's (cummative formative assessments) and PA's (predictive assessments) and short cycles (math and reading tests). I felt as if all we did was test and assess (and due to repeated failure, lower our expectations so that our kids could see some success).
Opposite to the book though, this same school was fortunate enough to have small class sizes. I taught 4th grade and had 17 kids. I also received a teaching assistant for 2 hours out of the day. Further, we had two computer labs. Beyond that we didn't have much, but considering the stories presented in the book we're reading I'd say we were lucky.

One quote stuck out to me in the book - "The cost of building new and safe schools for the children in our urban districts or rebuilding those that can be salvaged, has been estimated by the General Accounting Office at well above $100 billion... (pg. 204)" -- I just wonder how much donations it would take from pro athletes to help turn this situation around. (Steve do you have a guess?).

_________________
Erika M. Nelson


Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:42 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:37 pm
Posts: 4
Post 
Erika,
My school's test scores have been on the decline for the past two years. We are now hitting the access and test phase that you mentioned and I believe that we are going down a wrong path. Wih class sizes at an all time high for us we also have to meet AYP as we now have not met it for the past two years. Ironically since we are a school of choice for a poverty school our parent involvement with the kids is deminishing to none. The million dollar questions that I think all teachers is how to give children the love and knowledge that they need in only six hours a day? I would like to be able to depend on the parents to do their job but in this economy parents either don't want to or simply can't because they have to work. See you Wednesday. :)


Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:02 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 24
Post 
I also find it extremely hard to balance playing the role of mom and teacher. I struggled with that my first year of teaching with Sam and again now with my ELL cluster. I find it difficult to decide what's more important - the love and security they feel with me or the desire for them to pass the test. It's tough on teachers but for me I'm always their for me kids nomatter the accountability with testing.

_________________
Erika M. Nelson


Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:07 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 16
Post 
I agree that we often find ourselves playing both the role of teacher and parent. I often get many of the difficult children who come from difficult homes. I think this is because I tend to take to those children and even ask to have them in my classroom. I find it hard to teach when some children come to school with no sleep or haven't eaten. I first must take care of their needs and then work to teach them the second grade curriculum while showing them love and respect. Each day is definately a challenge, but I know it is why we are all here.


Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:32 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 15
Post 
As teachers we have a job that requires us to understand and appreciate the students first. Meeting the needs of our students first is essential if we want our students to begin to overcome some of the obstacles that might get in their way. Maslow Hierarchy of Needs has that first on the list.

Lately, however, I don't think it is the teachers to blame for this mess we have created with AYP and testing. All the inequalities that have been created in our educational systems have come from policticans who come up with the brainy ideas of making EVERY child become a cookie cutter image when obviously it creates stress and feelings of resentment. And in the midst of all this NOBODY seems to feel it is important for the parents to held accountable for their child's education. JUST THE EDUCATORS seem to be the ones blamed.

I work at a school similiar to the one Erika worked at her first year of teaching. Ninety five percent of our students are on free and reduced lunch. We face similiar issues as Erika has described. Luckily we have met AYP this year...but there is always the continous cycle of making sure that we are using researched strategies that we know work.


Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:20 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:51 pm
Posts: 16
Post 
I agree with you Jenny about the politicians. A lot of the mess seems to come from the government and what they are requiring us to do. I can't help but wonder though, where would be be without all that. We all know that there are teachers who wouldn't do anything if they weren't held accountable for what they do in the classroom. In fact there are still some out there that somehow seem to slip through that really should not be in the classroom. I sometimes wish that districts and the government would stop tinkering with all that is going well and focus on the instances where it isn't. I also wish that government would stop penalizing those of us that do our jobs and do them well.

_________________
Tara Gilleland


Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:59 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:45 pm
Posts: 18
Post 
Tara, I definately agree with you about teacher accountability. I definately think that teachers should be accountable; however, it seems we have just gone insane with testing and making sure "no child left behind."

It doesnt make sense to me that all students have the same expectations but schools dont receive the same support. The Leandro ruling shocked me. I definatly see schools becoming less integrated and see "economic segregation" at my own school.

_________________
Samantha Harris


Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:13 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:19 pm
Posts: 16
Post 
I think we as teacher all find ourselves in tough place when it comes to our students. I work in lower income school and see where kids come from and it will truely break your heart. It amazes me that some of them can even come to school and hold their heads up due to the homes they life in. I think we as teachers have to let our students know they are safe with us and try our best to meet their needs when they are with us. For some students the meals they get at school are the only true meals they get. Also for some of them the love and care we show them is all they get at home all they hear is yelling and screaming and watch fussing and fighting going on. I feel as teacher we have to meet their basic needs before me can worry about school needs and not everyone sees that. A child can not do math, write, or read if they have not sleep or ate. I take all that it to play with my students.

_________________
Adrienne Coles Ledbetter


Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:51 pm
Profile
Semi-pro
Semi-pro
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Posts: 18
This year I have moved to a school that has not met AYP in three years. There is a new administration on board and about twenty new staff members. Every one in the school is doing all they can do and sometimes more. We can only do so much with the students we are given. Our school has a very large ELL population. In my classroom part of the ELL students only want to be a gang member and care very little about learning to read or do mathematics. How do you bring students up to grade level when they are four years behind and would rather be somewhere else? How can the federal government say that these people are not doing their jobs and this is why the school is not meeting their AYP goals? AYP stinks and I think life would be so much nicer and our students would learn more if we did not feel that our necks were in a noose.

_________________
Debra Shook Manasco


Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:19 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.   [ 9 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software for PTF.