30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom Challenge

Day 2

January 31, 2020

HOW DID DAY TWO GO?

Day Two was a good conversation. Have a Vision. We have grand ideas about what we want to accomplish. Reading this section together and talking about it was really helpful to hone in on what we really want, what is really important to us, and why is where we are not where we want it to be. It was helpful to write it down. It was constructive conversation. One area we talked about is: how my role does not allow me to be in “her” class all day. We, as a school site and community, see the classroom as my Co-Teacher’s. I am a visitor. Her name is on the map, on the library schedule, door window, student roster, etc., etc.. While I understand I am not in the classroom full time, not claiming or calling some of that space my own, makes me just a visiting teacher. This isn’t what we want.  

Where are we: We talk about wanting each and every student to be successful. We work to make sure each and every student meet grade level standards (we are in the process of talking/revising this goal because we shouldn’t be just working to check boxes off, on a list of met standards). We work really hard to bring our students who need more support up to grade level. I wonder- what about the students who are already at grade level, or the students who are beyond grade level? What are we doing for them? We meet with multiple small groups throughout the day, across subject levels- but how do we get 1:1 conferencing time? 

Where do we need to go: We need to clearly state our goals and intentions, which our vision sheet helped us with. We need to go back to those time and time again to see where we are, have we shifted, are we lost, on track? We need to talk with our site administrator and see what it takes to put my name on a class roster (or 3- depending on the number of classrooms I share!). 

Did we do the To-Do List: check.check.check.

MY GOALS:

Talk to site administrator to add my name to rosters- officially!

Talk to Co-Teacher and ask her to add my name to paperwork

Until next time, takecarebebrave.

30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom Challenge

Day One

My Co-Teacher and I met today to kick off our “30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom” Challenge! I think we are both excited to make this commitment, and looking forward to seeing where 30 days from now takes us. My Co-Teacher is also my friend. We have worked together for many years, but have never had any formal training on Co-Teaching together. We definitely don’t always know what we are doing, but we always figure it out. One goal I have for this process is to formally go through this process, reflect on where we currently are, determine where we want to go, and make a plan to get there. In addition, I would love to share this process and practice with other teachers, other communities I may work with as an Education Specialist. 

HOW DID DAY ONE GO? 

Day One went well- this was a pretty simple and easy day for us to complete. We know each other, so we didn’t have the awkward first date feeling (woo hoo for us)! We did play the 20 Question Game, and I did learn a little something about that Co-Teacher of mine… 1. She sure did salivate a little bit over the idea of candy corn, and 2. “I like a classroom to feel like a hospital”…#2- W.O.W. I get it, but I had no idea! So, that tells me to be mindful of the space. (Not to mention I said “I like a classroom to feel like a circus”, so, we have a little bit of compromising to do!) 

Where are we: We get along, we like each other both professionally and personally, and we have similar education goals. 

Where do we need to go: This was a pretty surface level day, so we just need to keep hanging out. I think as we continue through this process, we will communicate more specifically about philosophies, goals, dreams. Looking forward to it! 

Did we do the To-Do List: YAS! check.check.check.

Innovate Inside the Box

This posting is part of the “Innovate Inside the Box” Book Study on Facebook. 

W1A:

Since the book is focused on finding solutions even within constraints, this seems like a logical question to start off that is solution-focused.

What was a constraint you have faced in education and how did you overcome it? This can be a personal constraint, classroom, school, or district level.

A constraint? There are SO many constraints in education!

Where should I start?

I think the biggest constraint is mindset. We can attribute every level of an organization (district, school site, grade level team) with a variety of other constraints, but I think it comes down to the mindset of the people within. Given new district initiatives, new leadership at a site, people we work with daily, or the students who show up everyday, mindset has been the biggest constraint for me to work with. You can have a mindset of positively accepting the new curriculum adoption and teaching it page by page, or a mindset of deciding its terrible and boring and that lack of excitement translates into your teaching, or maybe you have the mindset of a new curriculum adoption is exciting and we can think bigger and use it for guidance but take our teaching to a more innovative place by pushing ourselves to do better.

As I am working as a Special Day Class Teacher, traditionally, my students usually have spent their day in my classroom until specials such as PE, library, computer lab, etc. This is the first year all of my students have started their day in the general education environment, with appropriate supports. We can have a mindset of all students are general education students first, or a mindset of students with x diagnosis should be in the SDC class because it’s best for them, not even be aware of your thoughts on this issue, or somewhere in between.

It is very exciting, and each classroom my students are in looks different than the others, based on the mindsets of the teachers and their styles and how we work together.

What helps me most is building individual relationships with the teachers, so we can work together to build the best environment for each learner. It is still a work in progress with each teacher, but we are seeing progress with our learners, so both sides can compromise. I try to be open to anything and want to support the classroom teachers in any way they see fit!

Welcome to my beginning!

Hello to each and every one of you, and welcome to my beginning of this blogging experience! Over the last year, my professional life and engagement in the learning process of all learners has really shifted. I have mindfully and actively become a learner again, and am passionately working towards changing school for all learners.

So why am I blogging?

District Kick-Off 2019

At this school year’s kick off rally, I was able to hear George Couros speak to our Elementary Teachers (in addition to losing my mind in excitement and screaming his name while chasing him down!), and we were all left truly inspired to do better for all students. I have joined the book study group admin’d by George and Co-author Katie Novak on Facebook and they have challenged us to create some type of media to engage in the discussion, and I chose this blogging platform.

Is that all?

As I begin this journey, I will be posting my reflections from Innovate Inside the Box on this blog, but I envision this space evolving into sharing my experience in supporting all learners, my learning experience, and connecting people who inspire me, to you. My big dream would be to use this to allow students a place to post their process as well.

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