I am a Failure. That is most definitely how I felt Friday coming out of school. This feeling has been creeping into my mind for multiple days now and I can’t shake it. How do I know I am a failure, well, I know this because one of my classes has not been successful in moving forward. This class lurches around, one day great, one day bad with no continuity. I have yet to be able to put my finger on what is happening or why it is happening. As a class, students are not being successful in science and that ultimately, comes back to me, the teacher.

What do I have in this class:

  • multiple ELL students (three need translators)
  • multiple low and struggling readers (90% of the class – we are working on this part)
  • multiple IEP and 504’s (not using this as an excuse)
  • Special Ed teacher for the first 10-15 minutes of class and then a para-educator for the rest of class

What have I tried:

  • new seating arrangement (3 times)
  • direct instruction
  • small group instruction
  • hands on approach
  • character education (positive mindset, growth mindset, willingness to overcome adversity, how the brain thinks)
  • chance to set goals
  • general conversations to build that relationship with my students (working with some, not so with others)

At this point, I am on to plan E I think (which I need to think this plan through first off). I am going to start this week off since it is our first day of the 2nd nine weeks talking with the students to get their input in on a few things:

  • What do they want to learn about? (have to couch it within the PE’s that are required to be taught)
  • How do they want to go about learning this material? (how can I help them as a facilitator)
  • How can we work as a unit, team instead of a collection of individuals?
  • That we are going to institute the “Not Yet” standard in this classroom as outlined by Carol Dweck.
  • Where do they want to go with this class?

This is a very trying class. It is killing me to see them not be successful and I need to alter my approach yet again. It is my professional responsibility to keep trying until something works. These students deserve the very best from me and I am not sure if they have gotten the very best from me yet. Until I see this class being successful on a consistent basis, I know how I am going to feel.

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