Yesterday I was asked to meet with the principal, AP, head of my program and our social worker to discuss the K-1 plan they came up with. I had no idea what I was walking into but after I had all the higher ups watch one shit-show of an afternoon in my classroom I was hoping for some sort of help. What I got is so much more than I was expecting.
My classroom is moving! Not only that…they’ve ordered me new furniture such as tables with chairs attached!! Also, new and appropriate curriculum!! AND they are turning my current room into a sensory motor space (which I have been advocating for at every school meeting since the beginning of the year) for my kids to use within their schedule to get their bodies and minds ready to learn but also as a space they can go to calm. And it is all happening very quickly. Today they moved all the office furniture out of the room I’ll be moving into.
My new space:
It will be minus that desk area and minus the table and other office stuff.
When I was told all of this I had mixed emotions…”Yes! Finally! Someone is doing something concrete to help that will actually, probably be helpful.” Also “I don’t think they know how hard I’ve been trying and what I’ve been up against.” When the principal stressed making this new space feel like “a real classroom ” by putting posters up and word walls and other things I thought…”They think I haven’t tried to make my current room look like a classroom.” But under that I know I was NOT given the curriculum support, the appropriate furniture, the sensory space, the materials and supplies I needed to be successful in the beginning and I really shouldn’t beat myself up over where I am and what our space looks like. And then I think, I should be a better teacher, I should have taken more initiative to create a better space with what I had. And then I remember…When? When would I have done that? Should I have stayed until 8pm rather than 6pm most nights to accomplish that?
As I tell my Federal Setting 3 coworkers I start to feel bad. They too are struggling with curriculum. I told one that her class must look more successful than mine which…that is truly not hard to do.
And what hit me tonight is amazement. Amazement that in a district where it seems like forever to make small changes and it’s like pulling teeth to get more money, they are investing a lot of time and money into the success of my little troop of 10 very challenged students. I hope the result of this is as great a miracle as I feel it happening at all is.