An Abundance of Teachers
There is an author of young adult books, John Green, who has written several stories that have gained considerable attention in the literary world, such as The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. Of these, I have only read the first, which, while a fantastic story, is not particularly well-suited to a grade school classroom. I have wanted to read Mr. Green’s other books and have them on my ever-present and ever-growing To Be Read list. Even without reading them, though, I have long been captivated by his titles.
In my classroom, my students are currently experiencing an abundance of teachers. In addition to Mr. G, who has been with us since January, we have had a team of student observers from the University of Illinois who have come once a week to observe in one of three classrooms. In order to better manage the space, we have had two in my room, two in the other fourth grade room, and one with our reading interventionist. Starting yesterday, they began a four-week placement during which they come to Wiley all day every day. The five rotate so that each of them has the opportunity to be in all of the classrooms with different combinations.
When taking into account myself, my full-time aide, tutors who come either in the morning or in the afternoon, and our special education teacher who pushes in a couple of times a day, there are times when we have at least six teachers in the room at any one time. This works out to about one teacher for every four students.
Like I said, an abundance of teachers.
Adjusting to this new arrangement has been interesting. for both the students and the teachers. However, it has also been fantastic to allow much more targeted instruction as we group and regroup throughout the day. The students are able to get support much more quickly than in the past, due to the fact that there are so adults ready to assist them in their work, answering questions, giving feedback, providing specific praise, redirecting and refocusing, and generally helping wherever and whenever needed.
It is my expectation that, with such an abundance of teachers, my students will all be able to make considerable gains as we push forward in the last quarter of the year. And, of course, we will be sad when all of our student teachers have to leave us to go on to different placements or different jobs.
But, for now, we are going to enjoy our abundance of teachers!