Mr. B Gets a Mulligan

When I first found out I was to be teaching 3rd grade I was disappointed. All summer I had hoped and planned to teach 4th grade. File that under "Be Care What You Wish For." Today I was informed my 3rd grade class is being dissolved and my students will be spread across five other classes. I'll be taking over a 4th grade class culled from the four other 4th grade classes, some of which at this point have as many as 37 students! (At this point I should mention the legal cap for students in a classroom is 28. Also I have to ask, if the school had an overcrowded 3rd grade last year, wouldn't it be logical to assume they needed to accommodate a larger 4th grade class instead of planning for a larger 3rd grade class?)

My first reaction to the news (which was sprung on me as I picked my kids up after lunch) was shock. It felt a little unfair. I was developing a relationship with my students, developing a classroom management system and developing routines. Now I would have to start all over with 25-29 students who I wouldn't know. That means starting from scratch in terms of assessing their abilities, behavior and interests.

I'm still nervous and a bit anxious about finishing the week without a lesson plan for 4th graders. But, as bad as it sounds I'm also a bit relieved to be rid of certain students, and I'm now thinking of this of an opportunity. I know I made missteps early and I left rules unsaid and certain procedures unclear. Today I already felt the class slipping from my control (mainly because of the same disruptive student). Tomorrow I get a fresh start with a group of kids at the grade level I originally wanted. So despite the challenges, I'm going forward with optimistic enthusiasm.

And to lighten things up... from the auspicious pages of The Onion: "Teach For America Chews Up, Spits Out Another Ethnic-Studies Major".


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