Things are going nowhere near perfect with me lately, but one thing that has gone mostly very well for me is the new, altered schedule. As of today, we have now spent about two solid weeks with the new schedule, and I can safely say that although there are issues, it is far and away better than what I (and the students) dealt with before. As I’m sure I have mentioned earlier, there three main differences in the schedule from what it was like up until now:
1. My period length has decreased from 110 minutes to 75 minutes
2. All 4 of my classes meet every day, as opposed to on alternating days
3. The classes were re-rostered to group the kids more homogeneously
Changes 1 and 2 combine to mean a nominal increase in math instructional time from 275 minutes per week to 375. I am seeing a huge difference in the amount of material I can cover. In addition, I notice much less fatigue from my students over the period duration. And when I have a bad class period, 75 minutes of hell is a lot easier to tolerate than 110.
In my top two classes, behavior is much easier to manage. That’s not to say that there aren’t problems, because there definitely are. But when I need to get the class back under control, it takes far less time.
Of my lower two classes, one, Group B, is split in half between me and another teacher. This also makes management much easier. The only major problem is my other lower class, Group D. They have the tendency to fly completely off the hook, like they were on Tuesday. But all in all, I feel like at the very least, Groups A, B, and C are being far more effectively serviced.
Planning for classes and keeping track of what happens from day to day is a much easier task, now that I don’t have to worry about which groups to lead my lessons with, whether a lesson is going to straddle a weekend, or whether a field trip is going to throw the whole thing off. Continuity for me is smoother and I can see that it working better for the students as well.
I have huge appreciation for the people who accepted changes so that this could occur, it makes my teaching task imminently more doable. It might even be possible to finish this curriculum before the HSA after all (in one form or another).