As the newbie at a school full of "vetrans," I was assigned one of the less desirable schedules. It is the schedule that the other teachers don't want, and they often comment on my "misfortune" of receiving such a "difficult" group of kids.
My schedule is one section of "regular" students for English, three sections of "low"* students, and one section of a class that is being eliminated. This is considered "difficult" because the "low" students are often more likely to become classroom manegement issues, and they are less likely to pass the state mandated exams.
I do not see it this way. My schedule is great. I no longer have seniors, which are without question the highest maintenance group of students in the world. I have sophomores; a group of kids that have some motivation and room for growth.
I am a bit nervous about the way that my colleagues percieve my students. They offered up some workbooks that haven't been published since 1985. They have recommended Flowers for Algernon, which I feel is condescending to ask students to read. "Here is a book about a mentally challenged child. He learned to read, so you can too!" My colleagues also seem to disregard the issues of ESL students, special education students, and students without parental guidance.
I am worried. I worry that I will push the kids too far. I worry that if I don't follow the "they can't do it, so don't try" attitude, then I might not be asked back.
I just hope that I can do well for my students this year.