October 2007 Archives

The day after my last posting, I was asked to cover another teacher's class for 45 minutes. She was absent, and no substitute teacher was available. I agreed easily, because I am a team player. I actually like going into another teacher's class. Since I only teach one class of one subject of one grade, it's a way for me to meet more students in my new school. I went into that classroom, relieving another teacher who had covered the first half. I introduced myself as a regular teacher in the school. The students had their work, and knew it ...


The first quarter is almost over. The teachers now know which students are "problems" or "challenges" or "high-flyers" -- the ones who will need a lot of teacher time to handle attitude issues. One of our school administrators said to me (with a very loud sigh), "I guess the honeymoon's over". She was referring to discipline. The teachers use positive reinforcement techniques, with praise for a job well done, and reward slips given out generously. But the teachers also use progressive dscipline, meaning that there is a tier of response to behavior. First we try talking to the student privately ...


Today was a rare opportunity. The Special Education office for my district brought together all core academic department chairs for secondary education. The leaders of Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts- and Special Education -- spent the day talking about the challenges of team teaching. Since I am new to my school this year, I was really happy to have a structured setting in which to develop a colleagial relationship with my fellow DC's. They have worked together for some time, and the four of them are very friendly and supportive with each other. I felt like the odd man ...


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