While many people think teachers have a life of luxury because we …”only work 9 months a year and get paid for 12…” (as quoted from people in my own family), I excuse their ignorance because they don’t know better. They’re going on what they see, and as we all know, perception is *not* reality, is it?
As much fun as it sounds, I have yet to get a full 5 day vacation week this summer. Between moving things from my old room to my new room, or spending afternoons organizing the new room, or doing homework for my online graduate course, my mind has never fully left my classroom. It’s expanded and had lots of fresh air and sunshine, though…I’m not complaining 🙂
The majority of today was getting a grip on that graduate class I mentioned above. Now, I don’t *need* the class (but the credits help in keeping my certificate current) as I have my M.Ed., but I read a book over Christmas last year that got me really, really (REALLY!!) excited about making some major changes in the way I teach reading. (Yes, I’m an ESL teacher. However, my district is *AWESOME* when it comes to recognizing what ESL students need and putting that into play, which is why all second-language kids who receive ESL services in middle school receive their reading & language arts credit from their ESL teacher. I am NOT a pullout tutor, I’m a real teacher…unlike my former district, and that’s all I shall say on the subject!). So, long ramble short, I am a certificated ESL/LA teacher teaching reading, ESL and LA. Not for the faint of heart 🙂
Back to the way I teach reading, which is absolutely not traditional. In all my classroom years, I’ve been super lucky that the kids really enjoy reading and becoming thoughtful readers…until last year’s 6th grade swaggered through my doorway. Every day was a battle of wits (I always won) and a race to see who would exasperate whom first (usually they won). They are fun and funny kids, but came to 6th grade with a serious disconnect when it comes to independent reading and choice. And since I loop these guys for two more years, I knew by Christmas break I had to do something this year to change my teaching because another year of pulling teeth was not an option for me.
Around Christmas last year, I happened across the Daily 5 book. Mind you, I’ve seen all the reading programs and systems before. However, being a secondary teacher, I don’t have the time or patience for cutesy stuff, and my kids DO NOT LIKE LEVELED READING PROGRAMS. I am shouting (it is MY blog, after all), and I wish more teachers understood how truly unfair leveled reading programs are for a large part (not all) of their students. Anyway, I skimmed the Daily 5 and became intrigued by the idea so much that I’m in this class to see how much I like it and if it’s an approach I want to consider this year.
I do, and it is. I do not think it is a magical cure-all, but I do think that the gaps I am facing in my 7th grade classroom can be terrfically (yes, it’s a word. It’s my blog!) closed with both the structure and thoughtful and deliberate lessons.
Back to today: I spent the majority of the day finishing the third set of assignments for the course, and while I only have one set to finish to be done with the course, I am truly excited to try (most of) the Daily 5 in class.
Do you use the Daily 5? Do you know someone who does? What are your thoughts or opinions? What advice would you give me?