Based on my license and endorsements I could be a classroom teacher, ELL teacher, or SPED teacher. I most want to have my own classroom back, but I am happy that I will get a job period. Since there are more classroom positions, I feel like it is most likely that my assignment will be as a grade level classroom teacher and I am happy with those odds.
I made a list this morning of some of the small things I have been mulling around. In some regards I feel as though I am coming back as a whole new teacher so many aspects of my instruction will be different, but these are more minor things. Little ideas I have picked up along the way....My ideologies about teaching are a whole different post...
- classroom blog
- student of the week celebration where one student is selected each week and can do a short presentation by showing/telling more about him or herself on Friday.
- weekly instead of daily job assignments including an assigned substitute who fills on for absent helpers. I used to have jobs change daily and I think that is too much. Not only would I frequently forget to rotate them, but if a student is absent on their assigned day as the line leader they just missed out and that is really sad...Jobs are about teaching responsibility and I think it is more meaningful to repeat the same task a few times to demonstrate improvement in job skills and reliability.
- global & multicultural stories during story time (I want to be much more deliberate in stories I select for read alouds and I want them to be more meaningful)
- groups during math time so that some kids are working on a task they can do completely independently so I have a smaller group to work with while supporting struggling students, re-teaching, and correcting work based on new concepts. I would ideally like to start math with a short review question, teach the new concept, have one group immediately work on some related problems while the other works independently on something else, then swap the groups, then end the period with an exit question to check for understanding. I am not sure what the schedule is looking like these days back home, so I have no idea if that will work, but I want to differentiate better, so that kids are challenged more and kids who need help have more access to it.
- a book club for kids-maybe to take place during lunch? I am not really sure how this could work, but some type of activity to share meaningful reading experiences with kids who might not have as many opportunities to read at home.
- mailboxes in the classroom-previously my students had cubbies and there was an upper slot where I returned work and put papers, but the end of the day packup session was always jammed and crowded. I would like to have mailboxes/trays in a separate area so kids can get their backpacks and coats in one place and then retrieve their papers from another.
- Friday folders- Are you familiar with Mrs. Mimi? She has posted about Friday folders and I love her idea. Basically as the week progresses, any work that is not completed goes into the "Friday folder." When kids have extra time, they can work on assignments in their Friday folder. Any work that is still remaining unfinished in the folder on Friday goes home over the weekend and needs to be completed. I am not sure exactly how I want to make this work, but I like the idea and I need to make myself and my students more accountable for completing and turning in work.