Middle School Hero

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 28 2013

Kids on kids on kids

Since the new semester started three weeks ago, I’ve gotten about 8 new students. They’re always kids that I recognize from other classes and they’d always show up one at a time, a new student here, a new student there. I had no idea where these students were coming from or why they were suddenly in my class but it was a stressful time.

At the start of the new semester, I got 6 students back from long term suspensions. Now I’ve got these 8 new students? That equals out to be about 3 new students per class, which makes a tangible difference in my ability to have individualized conversations, manage the class, grade papers, and contact parents. To add on to it, I recently found out that all these new students are students who were reevaluated as part of our English Language Learners program and have graduated into mainstream classes. That means that all of my new students are in need of heavy remediation.

It’s times like this that I wonder why I am the SIOP teacher. The other 7th grade writing teacher was our school’s nomination for teacher of the year, and yet I, first-year-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-trying-to-keep-my-head-above-water Mr. Goodier am responsible for the demographic of students that faces the most difficult road to success.

On the bright side, we just got a new ELL teacher who should be spending some time in my class. Not only should this help out my students, he seems like a really cool guy. He taught English in Korea and coaches soccer, two things that I can get behind. Hopefully he ends up really making an impact.

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Chronicling teaching middle school English in OKC

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