September 5, 2009

mood swings

It seems I am on a constant emotional rollercoaster when it comes to teaching these days. As I'm looking over the math quizzes my team gave yesterday, I am horrified to see that, after a week of teaching the same skill in many different ways, about half of my kids still have no idea what to do. I have taught the skill 3 different ways, used manipulatives, used drawings and visualization strategies, and worked with small groups of struggling kids before school. I don't know how else to teach this, and after about a week, I'm thinking it might be time to move on.

Last year, with my small group math during student teaching, I was able to teach and reteach until everyone grasped a concept. I did not give a quiz until I was positive that the kids would do excellently. However, not only was I working with a small group class of 10, but they were also my gifted learners, so we had no deadline or pacing guide to get through material--it was all enrichment anyways. I guess I got used to scoring 100% quizzes. Now, I'm not naive. I know that sometimes kids struggle with concepts. I struggled with math a lot as a child. But I know that I did a good job teaching them. I honestly am not sure what else to do for this.

I would spend another week on just this material if I were able, but I'm under pressure to finish chapter 1 at the same time as my team so that we can change up our classes for math. Do I try teaching it another way? Or do I move on?

I get so frustrated when I grade something and there are blank spaces. Kids, I struggeld in math as a child too. A LOT. I still struggle in math. But when there is a question that asks you to name a prime number, and you don't know the answer, TAKE A GUESS. Do not turn in your test half blank with "i didn't get it." written on the top.

I'm sorry. That probably sounds insensitive and like I don't understand learning disabilities, special needs, or my responsibility as a teacher. I do. I am just frustrated.

I never give up on my students--I know they are all capable of learning. But I honestly don't know what else to do about this.

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