Wednesday, August 25

Reflecting on My First Days of School as a Support Teacher

This year I’m not in the regular education classroom anymore. This year, I get to be a support person. It’s been an exciting change. 

You might be wondering, what does a Title 1 support person do at the beginning of the school year when you aren’t ready to start intervention or tier groups yet. I know I sure wondered what I would do every day. 

Would I be bored in my classroom trying to find things to pass my time? Would I never have time in my classroom because I would be stuck in other people’s classrooms assisting them? Maybe a combination of both? 

Would I be pouring hours into looking at data? Would I be sitting in front of a screen, constantly watching videos on different intervention programs I would be using? 

Let me tell you, I’ve become a Jack of All Trades this year.   

In the days leading up to the first day, I was delivering classroom and AVID supplies to the teachers, so they would have everything they needed for the first day.

The first (shortened) week, I spent my mornings walking kids to their new classrooms and assisting with lunchroom routines. On the first days, working with Kindergarteners can be like herding kittens! LOL! I spent my afternoons making signs to help smooth out building routines and meeting with other support staff teams, like the ESOL team. 

I had my para team in the classrooms assisting teachers and being seen by students. 

The second week, I spent more time with my para team, creating group norms, so I know what will help my paras and I need to be a productive, happy working team, and  reviewing our diagnostic tests with the team. I looked at the Spring data to figure out who the quad 3 kids were, so my team could get a head start on our diagnostic testing, starting on day 6. 

Oh, I also spent a day as the librarian when there was no substitute, LOL. 

This week, I took on a before-school duty and working the first grade breakfast cart. I’ve spent a lot of time entering QPS scores online, giving kids the QPS or PAST test, and teaching/monitoring students while classroom teachers pull students individually for the Fall screeners. 

A lot of colleagues have asked me how I feel about my new position. 

It’s different. Honestly, it’s a good different. I think I needed this change in responsibility. 

I was getting exhausted mentally and emotionally by the worst behaved students in my classroom. I was struggling to not be a Negative Nelly all the time. I was starting to dislike teaching. 

It’s disappointing and hard to dislike the career you’ve always wanted to do and used to love.

I still get to work with kids. I will still work with kids all throughout my day, eventually. I don’t have one set of kids that I’m working with all day long, though, and that’s a positive change.  

I love my schedule being more flexible now, though. I’m thankful that I’m enjoying my time at school, even though every single day has looked different this year. 

The year has just begun. I don’t know what challenges it has yet to bring. Mask mandates? Remote teaching? I think it’s going to be a good year, though. Better than the last one…

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