I am not a complainer. I am a “go-with-the-flow” kind of teacher. There are times that parts of my job position are hard, and at times frustrating. I am sure everyone can relate to that. With that as a backdrop, I want to share some of what I am feeling tonight as I am writing this.
Just like most states that have approved the Common Core, we are taking the PARCC Test. For those who don’t know PARCC is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. We are currently in the process of taking our performance based assessments. There seems to be a lot more testing time as compared to the former Ohio Achievement Assessment tests.
What makes my job hard is the fact that I miss a lot of class time. I am in a pull out situation. So I see my students one day a week for 240 minutes. So when I miss a day its like missing a week’s worth of class. So this year I am having a new reliance on technology. To help with missing so much time, I have built a website that my students can access. This website is a work in progress. I try to add more and more to it as necessary.
More and more of my students are into technology and social media. So I try to post to Twitter, and to Facebook as well so I can reach them. Several of them like to email, so we communicate that way. Google Docs has made turning in work so much easier. The more technology is infiltrating into our classroom and daily lives in general it’s hard to ignore. So I choose to use it.
I am thankful that many of my students are self-motivated. I can give them a project to work on and they can work on it at home and in their classrooms when they get some free time.I also have those who I have to keep my thumb on, or I have to keep reminding them to work on the project.
With all this testing, and missing class it is hard to get the other things that I am required to do. One is Student Learning Objectives (SLO) that I have to assess. We had to do a pre-test, and very soon I have to do a post test with them. I also have Teacher Based Team (TBT) that works on strategies. Again, there is pre/post tests with that as well.
Overall, one of the worst aspects is the fact I lose continuity with my students. I love being with my students. They teach me as much as I teach them. A day without my students makes my day just another day. I have students who make my day special, and surprising. I really look forward to seeing my students, and getting to know them.
For those who have a pull-out program like me, how do you handle the loss of continuity with your classes? For those who have a regular schedule with your students what suggestions do you have to help me get some sense of continuity with my students?