if there are any teachery folk out there reading my blog, i'm curious as to your opinion on the following matter:
for a first year fellow, i think i've done a pretty good job. i have a decent passing rate, pretty motivated students, and a good relationship with a lot of them. my lessons usually go well, too. however, my biggest problem is that the students don't listen to me as much as i'd like them too. they see the AP coming down the hallway and they run inside class. they see me walk down and they continue misbehaving. they're doing something they shouldn't be and one person will say "you better stop or [the english teacher] will get mad." you never hear that about me. i'll tell a student to get back in their seat and maybe on the 5th time he'll listen.
so... next week i'm going to chose which grade i want to teach next year. i have 3 options:
a) move up with my current students
b) teach the new class of 9th graders
c) teach a mixed program of 9th and 10th grade
all of these options have definite pros and cons and i'm having a very hard time deciding.
With option a:
-i already know the students and know what works for them, how to differentiate, their skill levels, have solid relationships with many of them, etc
-i have an awesome textbook that i custom ordered geared towards my teaching style
-i like most of the students
-we won't constantly have new students added every week like there is in 9th grade
-they will hopefully be slightly more mature as sophomores
-i will be teaching geometry which i really don't like
-i want to run a tighter ship in my classroom and it might be hard reinventing myself with the same students that are too friendly/not respectful to me.
With option b:
- i get to teach algebra again, a subject that i love
- i can reuse a lot of my current lessons and powerpoints, just with some tweaking.
- i already know how i would go about teaching the course differently, and think i could do an awesome job
-i can reinvent myself as a stricter, no-nonsense teacher with students that don't know me at all
- 9th graders are horribly immature
- the class sizes will be bigger (possibly 30 per class as opposed to 20.) this is a biggie
- with 9th grade, there is constantly an influx of new students for the first few months and it makes teaching the class difficult when so many people are behind.
with option c:
- i can chose the classes i want to teach from the 10th grade list (ie take the students i want!)
- i can still reinvent myself with the 9th graders
- i can gain experience teaching a new subject while still perfecting my algebra lessons
- i will have to prepare for two different math classes and one advisory every single day.
- half the time i write up my lessons in the morning and i can see myself getting into big trouble if i can't get everything done in time.
my principal is pushing for everyone to stay with the same students but it's ultimately my choice. my AP did tell me that i can chose to teach 9th grade for next year and then move to 11th grade the following year when my boundaries and routines are more defined (so i can get my old kids back and teach trig/algebra 2 which i happen to love.) he also said that if i change my mind in august i can let them know and they'll change the programs. (i'm the senior math teacher in my school; i can do that!)
i think i know what option i'm leaning towards at this point. but i'm second guessing myself.