I was reading all these great posts on other First Grade blogs like theinspiredapple titled: How You Know You Teach First Grade. So I thought I'd do one on teaching GT kids-because it really is a different world. :)
1) You need to leave time in your lesson plans for the bazillion questions you will get. (Not necessarily on the topic you are talking, about by the way. We went from birds to bats to rabies to immunizations to whales in about 3 minutes the other day).
2) Kind of goes along with #1- you WILL be stumped by their questions from time to time.
Do fish drink water?
If dinosaurs came before people, how did the people get here? (obviously, I know the answer
to this one, but how do you break evolution down for a 6-year old.
And my all-time favorite: How do they make bulletproof glass? (must have seen it in a movie) because
as the child explained---it has to be really strong and also clear.
Thank goodness for the internet, we look up so many answers online.
3) You have to deal with many, many emotions! Everything is the end of the world! And if you forgot how to
spell the bonus word on the spelling test-good night! We go through a lot of tissues. They are so sensitive. We had a common assessment last week and their passage was about a cat that had gotten lost and the dog found her. The question was: How did it make you feel? Well, of course, half my class marked "worried" instead of the answer the test-makers deemed correct as "happy". They probably were genuinely worried, it's like they just have that extra sensitivity gene. Kids actually cry when we finish a chapter book, because they have to say good-bye to the characters.
4) You probably work harder on your lesson plans than regular teachers do (although you hear all the time how much easier your job must be). We not only have to differentiate for our different levels--- because believe me, we do have different levels; but have to add in a level of depth and complexity to keep them challenged as well.
5) You have wonderfully involved parents. We do a classroom activity or an Open House and I literally run out of chairs.
6) Your have to expect that your kids will take their materials to use them in a different way. I can't tell you how hard it is to get them to use the dots on the dominoes-not just make a structure. They will stack color tiles with the task cards meant to be a station to make growing patterns. They always have a vision.
7) You spend most of your free time online searching for new ideas for projects and creative products because you have to keep them challenged and engaged.
8) When you read aloud, you begin to recognize the raised hand is going to ask you what that word means. I have a student who is very adept in vocabulary. I'll read "she begin to marvel at her web", see her hand go up and automatically say: marvel means.....because I know that's what she'll ask.
9) Your kids actually laugh at your jokes! They may not actually "get" it, but they learn pretty quickly when you are joking. Sometimes they do actually get it. I accidently taught my kids sarcasm, oops. Now everything is "AWK-WARD"! :)
10) You will spend every day impressed with what your kiddos can do and the growth they can achieve regardless of where they begin.