On most days, there are moments when I wonder if it would have been best to turn away from Reading and Writing Workshop when I discovered the “nature of my group.” Some days there are just a couple of moments. Some days it seems like one constant moment. But then, it doesn’t seem fair to teach in a way I don’t believe in, just because the students aren’t on board…yet.
I’ve realized that, while I’m, technically, attempting and reflecting on my first true foray into Reading and Writing Workshop, for most of this class, we are not working on Reading and Writing, exactly (too many commas!). For a lot of these students, what I’m really working on is being responsible, being respectful, being kind, being independent, and caring–about themselves, about others, and about learning.
I rearranged the seating this week. Now I have two groups–four students each (actually, one group is just one student, since two of them are now SpEd pullouts, and one was suspended…)–that are the talkers, the off-taskers, the out-of-their-seaters. And five groups–four students each–of students that are capable of working independently without too much of my hovering oversight.
We will see how it goes. Hopefully, I can devote some very focused, very firm energy and instruction on the “tough” groups. And then, again hopefully, that will pay off and I will actually be able to confer with students during independent time, instead of just managing. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the best manager. But I’m certainly getting a lot of practice.
I’ll be calling some parents this week. I’ll be setting goals with the tough groups. I’ll be working on staying patient and calm (which I always was before). I’ll be working hard to get everyone on the same side–the side of learning.
I’m glad you’re with me.