I cannot believe what a whirlwind the beginning of this school year has been. I am teaching a 3/4 multiage in a district where only literacy aligns. Yes, trying to teach Everyday Math to third and fourth graders is like spinning plates on the Gong Show! (I, also, have three second graders join us for math!) I haven’t been gonged yet, but I'm still spinning! I have been able to briefly keep up on what my blogger friends are doing. A Year of Reading has a great entry on the importance of supporting new teachers and future teachers.
Franki and Mary Lee write about the importance of mentoring our future peers. I am fortunate this year to be part of a new teaching program that was developed between Denver Public Schools and The University of Denver. It is called Denver Teacher Residency, and is modeled after programs in Boston and Chicago. In a nutshell 26 “students” are getting their Masters in Education and certification at the same time. We have six in our school. My DTR spends four days a week in out classroom, one day a week in seminar, and one Saturday a month in classes. There is a slow release model, so they do not become overwhelmed. It is exciting to have some in the classroom, but daunting as well.
Daily a student will do something that reminds us why we teach. It can be a smile, a well written sentence, a look of joy on their face when they finished the book of their dreams, or making a new friend. However, sometimes they say or do something that makes us laugh so hard that we wished everyone could experience the joys of teaching. I looped with 8 kids from last year, so there is some strong background knowledge which can come in handy! The other day we were making a chart of Non-Negotiable in writing. We all know the drill “I’m done with my writing”, and their “finish” piece is lacking in the basics. Capital letters are not scary. Ending punctuation is not expensive. So, anyhow, we are making the list and N, a student, I taught last year raised his hand and said “Mr. Kimmal, can’t we just write Advance Reader Copy on the top so you know there are mistakes?”
Really, you can’t make this stuff up!