Half Way...ALREADY!

Wow...progress reports are already upon us, which means that I am already half way through my first quarter at my new schools. WOW WOW WOW!! Time flies when you're having fun...and I am ACTUALLY having fun with my new teaching position. I was a little nervous about working with the little ones since I didn't go to school to teach elementary school, but they are pretty cute when you read with them one on one or in pairs. I mainly work with the k-5th graders on their reading skills which includes phonics, vocabulary development and comprehension and they see me for half hour to forty-five minute intervals a few days a week.

My middle schoolers have turned out to be lots of fun too...the 8th graders have been learning all about Rosa Parks during Black History Month and we'll be moving on to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" next. The 7th graders are pretty chatty, in English in fact, and they can be fun too when I get them to quiet down and listen to instructions. We've been learning about the Trail of Tears and WWII. The curriculum does a nice job of making connections to the core content areas, while I work on their English proficiency simultaneously. Then they'll all be reading the novel My Brother Sam is Dead about the Revolutionary War while I spend three weeks administering our new ESL ACCESS exam (the new SOL type exam for ESL students).

I even got three new students in the last two weeks, which my mentor tells me could be a record, so I got to learn the ropes of language level testing and scoring to figure out where the students fell on the spectrum of their English language proficiency. I had one who was so advanced he didn't even qualify for ESL services, one who fell right in the middle range and my first student (that I've worked closely with) who has absolutely NO English! It's very exciting!

Overall, I'm really enjoying the job even though it's been interesting at times learning the ropes as I go since there is a lot of paperwork and a lot of new procedures regarding my ESL students that I didn't deal directly with in my last ESL position. I've reorganized my three classrooms at each of my schools and re-organized my student schedule to follow the scheduling guidelines more closely as asked. Everyone around me is helpful and my mentor is always ready with an answer when I figure out what questions I have to ask.

On a side note...I LOVE WORKING WITH THE MIDDLE SCHOOLS ONE ACT PLAY! We head to our festival in two weeks with the show This is a Test. I can't wait to report back how we do!
Here's my little classroom at my middle school. It is actually a dressing room for the auditorium that was converted into classroom space. Kind of ironic that my classroom is in actuality a dressing room. One of my walls is all mirrors with a counter and a sink, on the left side of the photo and then the room has it's own inclosed bathroom (not for student use though). Interesting how the theater is all around me!:)


Anonymous said...

Oh it's so good to hear how much you love your new job! Yay! I wish I could come see the play!

Melin said...

Wow Jess, I am so happy to hear how excited you are about your job, it just thrills my heart! Love you, Momma

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