Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Semester

This week was the end of the first semester at the middle school where I teach.  I can't believe we are already halfway through the year, on the other hand, I can't wait for summer.

I have 12 special needs students.  Then I have peer tutors who are general ed. students that come in and work with my students.  Peer tutors are an extra pair of hands to help with worksheets, run errands, get my group to lunch or the bus or assemblies.  I of course have a few that are my favorites, and then there are those that drive me nuts.  Let's just say I am definitely ready for a new batch of peer tutors.

I feel like I am looking at the first semester as a trial run.  Yes I taught last year, but that was at a high school with a different set of kids, curriculum and expectations.  This year I am starting over again.  I have figured out what kind of things I want to do differently for the second semester.  Hopefully this will help alleviate some of the problems from first semester.  And as always, personality plays a big part.

I had some peer tutors that just got right into the swing of things.  They buddied up with one of my students and developed a friendship.  Then there were other peer tutors who hung around the perimeter of class and waited to be told what to do and who to do it with.  I would make comments like, "this isn't an 8th grade dance where you hang out by the wall, pick a student and help" or "this isn't peer tutor social hour, get with a student and help."

Maybe its their age or maturity level where I have to invite them to participate in class.  Hopefully this new batch is better.