At the beginning of the year, TMAO of Teaching in the 408 concentrated on getting his seventh-graders focused on their work, dreaming of the time in March when he’d be able to start teaching grade-level standards. (He teaches language arts to English Learner and special education students with, on average, third-grade skills.) In the last 10 days, seven new students have joined his classload, making up about 13 percent of the total.
What’s not fine is the pitiful state of readiness they arrive in, not because of academics, which are bad enough, but in terms of getting here on time, carrying books, not losing everything, completing homework the rest of my class gets done more or less automatically.
He wonders if his old students see how far they’ve come.
That was you: disorganized, unfocused, angry for no reason, late all the time. That was you and it isn’t anymore, and you need to see this!”
He also has an idea for a new reality show, Top Teacher. Contestants would be assigned a different lesson topic, age group and school each week, given an hour to prepare and then “drop ’em in the room and watch the hilarity.”