Making the Impossible-- Possible

Hey Friends!! Hope all is well! I have been having some thoughts heavy on my heart, and thought I'd share :) Maybe you feel the same way.

I absolutely love this quote by Ignacio Estrada. I struggle with this every day. Thinking about many students that aren't receiving what they need to meet their needs.

A little background. I teach 1st grade. The school where I teach, the teachers are either literacy (reading/writing/phonics/social studies) or stem (math & science) teachers. I am a literacy teacher. Our students are also flexibly grouped. As they grow and reach milestones, they are moved to the appropriate class. The same goes for students that are NOT making gains, we attempt to find the the class that best fits their needs. I teach two blocks of literacy daily, to two very different groups of children. Would it be easy to do the same thing with both groups of students? Or would it be easier to take the lesson plans my fellow first grade teacher is offering up? Absolutely! However, that wouldn't be fair to the students.

I am far FAR from perfect, however, I truly think students should be instructed at the level in which they are--whether they are in first grade, unable to identify letters/colors/numbers, or if they are in 5th grade unable to successfully read a 2nd grade text. I take pride in trying to find appropriate lessons and activities for each small group to help them work on the skills they need to make gains.

What justice are we doing by instructing our students whole group? The days of the big anthology is hopefully gone from most classrooms. So it's time to get right of the whole "Turn to page 15 and let's read round robin" with the entire class idea.
I had to cringe when my 5th grade son came home and told me how embarrassed he was during reading. Of course, I had to ask 45 million questions before he'd give up any information, but come to find out during a round robin reading he read the wrong word and his classmates laughed at him. I'm still kind of like, "really? teachers/school districts still read 'round robin'?" I just don't get how that is best practice for our kids? I mean if you have some insight please share!

Every student is different. They learn different, they are different. They come to us from various backgrounds and families. Some may be homeless, or the unwanted. Some may be sheltered and oblivious to this world we live in. Some students may be taking care of their siblings, and they haven't lost their baby teeth yet.

Some days my students come to school without breakfast. Some come wearing the same clothes they wore the night before with dirty little hands and faces. Some of my students hate summer and snow days because school is their sanctuary. One of my students said to me as it was snowing outside today, "Maybe we'll be snowed in here so we won't ever have to leave!" You can't always follow the lesson plan. You can't always get done what you've been told to do. Sometimes you have to look at those little eyes and let them know you care. Let them know they are loved and you are proud of them and how they are growing. Sometimes you have to spend you own money and you are happy to do it. Sometimes Every day, I am reminded how I have the greatest job in the world.
Help me make the impossible seem possible to these young friends and let's build their confidence to attempt what they once thought impossible! Happy Teaching friends :)

1 comment

  1. So important to meet kids where they are, and provide a nurturing environment! They're lucky to have you!


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