Easier Said Than DoneBeth Langly, a first year intern struggles with her "constructivist" philosophy and the demands of teaching high school science. Her supervising teacher, a twenty-year veteran of the classroom, is not inclined to try new methods of instruction.
Preparing for the TestWhen her second graders were given a standardized test, Janet, a new teacher at an inner-city elementary school finds her suspicions were confirmed. The words she had been told that she needed to assure her students knew were the exact words on the test.
Hang In ThereAs a teaching coach for probationary teachers, Nancy's job is to support and assist new teachers in their first two years. She becomes concerned when one of her promising young teachers, frustrated by severe behavior problems in her classroom, confides that she is thinking about quitting.
Dorothy is a teacher for students with learning disabilities who was given the responsibility of facilitating an IEP meeting for Daniel who was returning from a day treatment program. Daniels teacher was a general education teacher committed to including Daniel in her class, but she was struggling with how to deal with her behavior. Dorothy, being a teacher for learning disabled students, did not feel she had the expertise necessary to deal with this situation and was also concerned that Daniels teacher may be taking on too much. She had hoped to get some solutions at the Child Study Team (CST) meeting.
Innuendo and rumor surrounded Crestwind Schools janitor, Frank. A loophole in the school districts policy allowed him to retain his job after an arrest and conviction for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Jenny Marsh was unable to quell her uneasy feelings in spite of reassurances from the administration.
Teaching is Emotionally Expensive
Tom, a veteran teacher, reflects to some of his peers on some of his teaching experiences over the years. He contends that teaching is "people work," with soft skills determining ones success in the field. He recounts with two particularly troubling incidents, which regretfully, have caused him to conclude that teaching is emotionally expensive.
What's Next For My Kids?
Tom Back has spent five years developing a constructivist math curriculum to accommodate all types of learners including general and special education students. After spending long hours and many sleepless nights, he is finally seeing the fruits of his labor. His student's math grades and test scores reflect the effectiveness of his methods. But Tom is troubled because none of his fellow teachers have taken his lead and modified their teaching styles. Many of his students, after reentering traditional classes are returning to their former spiral of failure.
What's Wrong with Kevin?Sharon Williams, a veteran kindergarten teacher, is perplexed by the unusual pattern of behaviors one of her students is displaying. As a preschooler, Kevin was reported by his parents, as well as others who knew the family, to have developed good language, cognitive, and social skills. Now he seldom interacts with the other students and often acts as if he doesn't understand what is going on in class.
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