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Archive for August, 2010

I’m struggling with readers’ workshop, which is honestly not that surprising. I am a fourth year teacher, the only 7/8 reading teacher in my school. Our district has so many different permutations of ELA/Reading/Writing teachers, in blocks, separate classes, etc I have not networked with any of them in three years. So I’m sort of alone in a sea of books. I actually had a dream about that.

I have successes, but I feel like I am having more challenges. I’m worried I’m not teaching enough mini-lessons. I am worried I’m not challenging my readers enough. I have a huge problem with deciding what is edgy yet appropriate, and I think I err on the side of edgy. I have readers from 11-15 in my 7th and 8th grade reading classes. Keeping the library diverse is hard. So I worry sometimes about content warnings I should be giving. I am also getting concerned about my gifted or very proficient readers. I don’t think I’m giving them the extra push they need to expand their skills and horizons.

Mostly I just hate feeling like a new teacher. Sad, but true. I know I am growing, but I hate the feel of incompetence. It doesn’t bring back fond memories. It’s week 3 going on 4. We have so far been reading, doing status of the class, and some impromptu book talks and book shares along with our vocab lessons. I don’t feel like that is enough yet I’m struggling to respond to them individually and find time for conferencing. I really also want to do an expository article per week and I have not been able to do that yet. I’m trying to help with expository reading for science fair but I worry that actually isn’t going to improve their informational reading skills.

Maybe within those place nouns, what I am missing is the workshop. Definitely I have a classroom, and definitely I have a library. I’m struggling to feel like we’re using tools, dissecting and creating.

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