back to the basics

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

After much needed rest & time off, I am ready to get back in the game at work. I was able to reflect a lot on my last post, my mental breakdown of Monday, and my whole approach to teaching in general.

It has been good. Thank you for all of the support after my last post- I did not intend for anyone to pity me about the situation, I am fully prepared for worse days in my life. It is nice to know though that I have so much support.

One of the biggest things you hear among teaching circles now-a-days is "up the rigor in your class." and "raise the ceiling." So that is exactly what I have done. My team and I make honors tests and give it to our "regular-ed" students. We continue to ask higher level questions and make higher-level activities. However, my students are struggling. They are struggling so badly and I think that is adding to both their frustration and my frustration. I continue to ask & think to myself, "Why aren't they getting it? It's such a simple assignment! Why are they failing my class assignments? They are in high school now, if they can;t do this simple task, how can they do real life?!" I realize how harsh this may sound- but when the majority of my students are failing, you have to stop at some point and assess.

My students can not analyze a photo or political cartoon or answer a simple question or write a complete sentence or read information and answer related questions or analyze a map.

So after a couple months of throwing information at them and hoping they can do the assignments like I listed above, I realized: I have to stop wishing & hoping and instead show them how to do something.

So tomorrow, I my students and I are working on answering questions by looking at the question mode. "How? What? When? Why? Where? When? Explain. Discuss. Identify." We are going to answer all of those related questions about making a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

I said back to basics didn't I?

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