. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: Go Team!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Go Team!

I can hardly wait for next school year to begin!

Did I just say that?

Out loud?

Well, here's why: I am going to have the most kick-ass 4th grade team ever!

I have worked on strong grade level teams before, but this year will be special. Teaming has been a challenge thus far at our school because of our year-round schedule, but we have tried our best to work within our limits. We are switching to a more traditional school calendar this coming year so we will all have the same vacation schedule, making true teaming more of a reality.

As a further hindrance, not all the teachers on our 4th grade team believed in the power of working together (shall we say); but in recent years that dead weight has moved on so we are free to become one cohesive unit.

Let me introduce you to my team. We are three members strong with two regular ed 4th grade teachers and one GATE teacher.

Fourth Grade Teacher #1:

(Drum roll, please)

He's relatively green and still enthusiastic about teaching. Ladies and gentleman, let's give a big hand for…Mr. Manners! Mr. Manners came to teaching as a second career and boy are we lucky he did. He enjoys long walks to the copy room, lingering lunches of salad and leftover treats found on the lounge table, and listening to social studies text books on tape.

Mr. Manners believes in meeting students' needs at their individual levels rather than setting arbitrary expectations for 4th graders as a whole. He is dedicated and committed to his career, to his teammates, and to all of our students. That is why I respect him. Also, as the butt of many of my jokes, he is willing to take quite an emotional beating. That is why I appreciate him.

Fourth Grade Teacher #2:

(Drum roll, please)

She's no longer a newbie, but she always will be to me. Ladies and gentleman, let's put our hands together for…Miss Shoes. Miss Shoes teaches our Gifted and Talented students, and is living proof that you don't have to be gifted and talented yourself to teach those students. Just kidding! TOTALLY kidding on that one!

She has the gift of compassion and a talent for reaching out to students who need that little extra push. She enjoys waiting in the dark of the early morning for the custodian to arrive late and unlock the campus, long lunches making fun of Mr. Manners, and getting supplies for other people from the supply room. Also, like Mr. Manners, she is frequently the victim of my caustic humor and takes it like a champ.

Fourth Grade Teacher #3:

Me. After reading the last two descriptions, you've probably surmised that I spend much of my time give others hell. If that was you're assumption, ding ding ding…we have a winner!

I so look forward to next school year. This grade level team has the energy, the dedication, and the will to make great things happen for our students. We will even be in the same building with adjoining rooms for the first time! My room is on the end, Mr. Manners is in the middle, and Miss Shoes is on the other end. This opens up endless possibilities…

…for torturing Mr. Manners! (Hey! I'm not alone in the "giving others hell" department)

Miss Shoes and I are in the planning stages for ways to make Mr. Manners' life miserable residing between our two rooms. So far we've considered:

  • Running a string across his room with cups on either end for us to communicate. We'll add a line in for him later (for a nominal fee.)
  • Using that same string as a zip line to send written messages to each other across his room.
  • Using a remote control truck to carry supplies back and forth between our rooms, through his room. Of course, the supplies must be innocuous such as a single pencil, one marker, or one stick of staples. Ideally, the truck will have a horn…beep beep!

If you have any other ideas that would be fun for us to try, please feel free to share! It's a long year, so we'll need a big bag of tricks to keep ourselves amused.

I hope my readers who are teachers feel the same hopefulness and excitement that a new school year brings.

I also hope you, unlike me, are sensible enough to wait until at least August before even thinking about it.


Mimi said...

Good for you! I, on the other hand, have not given school one thought - it's only second week off!!!

Anonymous said...

The team sounds great.I think that Mr. Manners will have a lot of distractions this coming year! It looks like all three combined will make a great group. Your students are so lucky to be a part of such a great group. I have not even thought about the next school year, I am enjoying my vacation time!!

cheez-its said...

As a teacher in training I have been overwhelmed with all the things I have to do and that I am responsible for. It is interesting because I am a strong believer in learning from each other and students helping one another. Thank You for reminding me that I will have others and that like my students I will be learning from those around me. Though the weight and sheer volume of everything that lies ahead is long from gone I must say that I find it ironic I was so overwhelmed with it all I failed to see I could/would have the exact enviorment I want my students to have.

p.s congrats on the kick ass team yall sound like you are going to take the fourth graders by storm. (and the zip line is the most effective)

Anonymous said...

It's exciting to see that you're so ready for working with your team this next year. Considering that it's summer and you're so happy about it I'm sure it will only make going back to school that much better. Also since you all seem like you will work so well together, I'm sure your students will benefit greatly from the cohesiveness of your team. With the 3 of you getting along so well, the entire year should be exciting for you.

Stretch said...

This sounds so exciting! I have seen teachers teaming and in my opinion it works so well and is really beneficial to the students. Your case sounds like it will be too. It sounds like you've got some great people working around you and it's nice to know that other teachers are trying out this strategy that I have seen as such a success!

Wamblings said...

Could I suggest animals? A trained lizard scurrying across the floor of his room or, more exciting, a skunk? (training and descenting optional)