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HELP! 2nd year teacher in distress!


Full Member
I am SO glad I found this message board! This is great!

I am a 2nd year self-contained teacher with at 1st grade class consisting of general ed/ESL students. In addition to 1st grade students being extremely high maintenance, I have the dual responsibility of teaching out of multiple curriculum products for Reading/Language Arts.

My daily time blocks are as follows:

MATH APPROX: 60 MINUTES (The district says I should be doing 90 minutes; so I have had to take away the students' recess)

SCI/SOC STUDIES: 45 minutes
I am having a difficult time managing it all; I have tried scaling down the lessons and just hitting the main objectives...but the students work slow. There is constant talking, fidgeting, and lack of attention during instruction. It results in a waste of time because during independent practice, students don't know what to do because they weren't listening! Behavior in my classroom is so poor that I spend the entire day doing whole-group instruction because breaking into learning centers and small groups results in TOTAL CHAOS!

I have practiced procedure with my students, I have devised a discipline plan, and I have a reward/penalty system. I have sent notes home to parents, I've taken away recess/lunch room/Specials priviledges...THEY DON'T CARE!

By administrative orders, I have been told to increase my time block for Reading/Language Arts. This has resulted in me being WEEKS behind the district's Scope & Sequence in every subject: 1)I have to juggle too many curriculum products to address my ESL and low-level learners 2) More time is being spent on Reading than on Math, Science or Social Studies 3)I'm constantly being interrupted with Benchmarks, District-mandated assessments that take ALL WEEK, and 4)I have no Teacher Asst. or Tutor to assist with children who are behind.

Team teaching is a joke because I have requirements that the other teachers do not have. Thus, I'm making my own lesson plans but I can't even keep up with my own plans!

Administration has decided that my schedule should be different from the other first grade teachers. Because there is SO much to cover, I have had to cut out recess time to make up time that administration has made me take from Math and devote to Reading/Lang. Arts.

On top of that, I was told by administration that the correspondence that I send home to parents has resulted in angry parents because it is not printed in Spanish. Well, I don't speak Spanish! So, I've been ordered by administration that correspondence sent home must be in English AND Spanish. It is left up to me to find a translator.

I need assistance with how to effectively use each time block for each subject. I'd also like for my students to become less dependent. Because classroom behavior is so poor, time is wasted.



I really feel for you. It does get crazy. I have to work with 4 2nd graders that have been placed in my 1st grade classroom because if we lose any more students we will end up being closed dowm by January. This is my first year teaching 1st grade and I didn't get my books until 4 days after school started. I am learning right along with my kids.
We are under a state grant for reading and our 90 min block is pretty scripted. I hate it. After the 90 min. I got into math and daily routines. I do journals as part of my language arts and I count it in the time spent in this area. I do this each morning for 15 min. at the start of the day. If the students don't get their page done I let them pull it out throughout the day when they have finished other assignments to work on it. Read Aloud is counted ar part of my reading/language arts time also and so I can include my after lunch chapter book I am reading to them. I also have read alouds that are in my reading series. Right after the read aloud I go into social studies/science. I only take 40 min. for this:( I do Social Studies for a week and then Science for a week. If I tried to do both each day I would have to live at school (as some students already think I do) I have a special in the morning for 40 min. Our lunch/recess is 40 min. The last 40 min of the day is spent reviewing what we have learned, writing about it, (class story, venn diagram, Tchart etc.... and then 10 min to work on unfinished assignments. I am still trying to figure out How I am supposed to fint my 2nd grade curriculum into this day.
Can you alternate Science/Social Studies so you are only doing one per week and that will give you more time to do math and reading?
That is what my admin. has allowed me to do so that I can meet the state, district, school demands.



sorry about all the typo's. It is really late here in Michigan.