As a teacher you have probably settled into a comfortable routine by this time of year. You know the names of your students, or at least most of them–quite a feat if you have over 130 like I did last year. You are now familiar with the unique personalities of each of your classes and many of your students. You know that each class has its own distinct personality and feel as well as its own abilities and attitudes, and you have adjusted to each one.
You can finally fill out necessary paperwork on students and know who it is that you are writing about. This part was really difficult for me last year because special education forms did not wait until I knew every student by name and needs. It was a good feeling when I could fill out those forms with confidence.
There is so much required of teachers these days. In high school we had to keep up with special education accommodations, limited English proficiency accommodations, special education inclusion students, content mastery students, English as a second language students, athletes in all sports, district curriculum requirements, technology innovations, state testing requirements, and the list goes on and on. The pressure on teachers for their students to perform well on standardized tests is immense, but there is also pressure for star athletes and other extracurricular competitors to make good grades. Often, it is the teacher who is blamed for failures rather than the student.
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But at least by this time of year, you are becoming familiar enough with your students that you can intelligently recommend appropriate accommodations and provide tutoring or other measures to help each one succeed. That, after all, is the bottom line. The job of a teacher is help each student find their own way to success.
Veteran or new or in-between, carry on, teacher. It’s all about the kid, and you are the key to their success.