Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bored With Reading

I teach reading. Notice I don't say I am a reading teacher. Nor do I say I teach literature. I teach a class called "Second Chance Reading". The kids joke and ask if they don't "get out" of the class next year, will it be Third Chance Reading.  Designed to help "struggling" middle and high school readers, the course follows the same format every week.

I am bored. The kids are bored. Although, at least half of them scored well enough on the ITEDs they won't have to take the class again next year.  I don't take any credit for that number. Most of these students simply took the test more seriously this year.

I took the training and practiced all the techniques. I try to teach this class with fidelity. I follow the program. I test when I am supposed to. But I am bored.

I had a nightmare last week that my schedule for next year was filled with just this class. I cried in my dream.

I understand this class works and it needs to be taught. It just can't be me! And thankfully it won't be, because the state decided in order to teach this class you must have taken the training AND have a reading endorsement.  And since I don't have a reading endorsement, I won't be teaching the class next year.

A silent cheer--it's hard to teach a class that bores you.....

10 comments:

  1. How sad to have to teach a class that is so scripted. How does this teach the joy of reading? Glad you won't have to do this next year.

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  2. I too say, how sad. I wish you could be sneaky & show them what books can mean! Sorry about your angst, too. What a dilemma to be put into that situation-sad for you, sad for the kids.

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  3. I don't think a teacher with a reading endorsement will be happy teaching this class either. It sounds like it's just technique and not choice or enjoyment or sharing. What will you teach next year? Just remember, something from teaching this way has taught you something and you may use it more creatively down the road. Glad for you.

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  4. I can understand how that class would be boring to teach. It sounds like a class that needs to be taught with freedom to inspire students instead of following such a scripted program. I'd be frustrated having to follow that type of program.

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  5. Thanks ladies for the support. It is frustrating--I do my best to excite kids about the free choice reading books, but the rest of this--UGH

    I will still teach my speech classes next year. I'm the only one qualified to do that. But the rest is up in the air until contracts, cuts, and budgets are decided....yea

    Hope I know before summer!

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  6. I couldn't comment this morning (for some reason the comments section wouldn't load for me), but I've been thinking about this all day. I was given the opportunity to design and teach my own reading support class. It was a blast. Why is it that the powers that be ignore the research: #1 Struggling readers do not need a program, they need time with a proficient reader (not someone with a reading endorsement). #2 Teacher autonomy is one of the biggest factors in whether a teacher is effective or not. We are creative beings. We need to be inspired in order to inspire. Kudos to you for making the best of it for your students' benefit!

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  7. Can you improvise a bit? Have you read the Book Whisperer? That could make you smile...
    Bonnie

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  8. I'm so sorry for you and this situation. But glad you will get to teach what you want next year, at least hopefully! Too bad it has come to this. Wishing you the best.

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  9. BK--not supposed to improvise--Not "teaching with fidelity". We are in a day and age when test scores mean more than anything...it's unfortunate. And it's bad for kids. I am not opposed to assessing where kids are at--I just don't want it to be the driving force behind my teaching.

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  10. What a pickle we've all got ourselves in. The kids are bored and you are bored. I laughed and cringed at your nightmare. How terrible it would be deprived of joy in teaching! I wonder if some of the students had a similar nightmare?

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