Thursday, September 9, 2010

First days of classes. . .

It is that time again. . . first day of classes. I felt like today was equivalent to one long workout. My students are wonderful but the classes are so large.  Because of budget cuts throughout New York City, schools have suffered greatly when it comes to resources for books, hiring enough teachers for the number of students and in classroom supplies.  Textbooks were not a problem for us as the principal was able to include the cost of books when he was appointed two years ago.  However, the number of students allowed in a general education high school class is 34 maximum.  One of my classes had 39 and another class had 36.  It was such a tight fit that we had to acquire chairs from other classrooms!

Another issue that has arisen this year is the whole school bus thing.  Our high school has a later end time, therefore the students on school buses should not be picked up before 4:00 pm.  It is appalling that the bus arrived at 2:50 pm to pick up the students to take them home.  They miss an entire hour of instruction.  Bussing has also been affected by the budget cuts, so that you have elementary age students on a bus with high school students.  This is ludicrous.  The conversations and behaviors exhibited by teenagers may negatively affected the grade school students who are less experienced.  In addition, they can be exposed to "things" that are inappropriate for their age level.

Despite all these negative aspects, I plan to have a wonderful year.  I am the coordinator of an inclusion program, special education students who are fully participating in a general education curriculum.  I want to move my students at least one grade level in their reading and math skills by January.  I plan to have two seniors graduate with an advanced Regents diploma.  I have one junior and one sophomore who are also bound for a Regents diploma.  My freshman I do not know well yet, but I see promise in them.  All in all, I plan for a good year!


  1. I started school again today too, as a student. There is loads of space in my class, so if any of your Bronx babes want to learn literary theory, Fedex them over. :)

  2. I think people in the education does a wonderful job for the future adults of this world.
    I enjoyed your post, most interesting to read.

    Have a good day.

  3. M. J.-

    That is awesome that you have room for my kids. Plan for delivery within the next 4- 8 business days.


  4. Yvonne,

    Thank you. We, in the education field, really appreciate it!

  5. Chary- you're amazing for perservering with such giant challenges. Your attitude is GREAT!--

    hold it... you don't have 39 special ed kids do you? Is the 39 ESL? Am I remembering your subjects right?

  6. Hahahaha! No, I have 39 all together- general ed, special ed and ESL students. However, 39 of one category is way too much and overwhelming. I'm pretty sure by third week of September everything will even out.

    *crosses fingers*

  7. It seems there are always obstacles and adjustments in school. It saddens me, the struggles I hear.
    We all suffer, when the economy is
    weak; Sorry,to hear the difficulties.

    Your program sounds fascinating; I love your optimism~

  8. Thanks Ellie. I find in the field of education, you have to be optimistic and positive. Otherwise, we would end up bitter and unhappy. I love what I do and I keep in mind that if it were my child, I'd want the teacher to do his/ her best for my kid. So I treat every kid like their my own.

  9. We need positive and optimistic teachers like you! 36-39 students?! That would flummox a weaker person.

    Good luck!! B

  10. Thanks Barbara. I am hoping that classes will equalize soon. Then I'll just have the 34 students max in each class.