Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RtI: Ready to Implode

I am not sure where I have been since the beginning of August. I seriously have a list of about 20 blogs posts to share with you that I have not gotten to. I have TONS of *freebies* to share with you and about 8 packets I cannot seem to wrap the finishing touches on to post on TpT. My brain is having to go in too many different directions!!!

At the beginning of the year, I make my daily schedule implementing all of our district initiatives and how much time I have to teach things like Word Study, Shared Reading, Shared Writing, Read Aloud/Comprehension Strategies, etc....the schedule always looks nice on paper. In reality, it is like Noah building the ark in 7 hours. It is NOT realistic when it comes to teaching little ones with short attention spans, bathroom breaks, transitions, the "questions" that are really stories about a little one and his momma, dog, or catastrophic injury.

I visit other blogs in ALL of my spare time and feel about this big !!!! I stink as a teacher is how I often feel at the end of the day. We have some great days too! Visits from Chester, Squawkers the Parrot, Eagle Eyes, Pete the Cat and in the next few days Lips the Fish, Stretchy Snake, Cranky Crab, and a very special alligator. There are fabulous lessons that go along with all of these.

But meeting after meeting leave me feeling overwhelmed with too much information about everything I have to do. We have been doing RtI at my campus for 3 years. It is nothing new. The interventions are things that I already have made and DO so that is a HUGE help. I am even blessed to have a wonderful person who comes into my room everyday to help me with my interventions.

But here is the NEWSFLASH every teacher is trying to broadcast:

We are NOT magicians!

We offer and provide all of these interventions which are kiddos need but then it seems we still have to give every child the same assessments and hold them to the same standards.

Plus, for so many of our little ones, we are the place where they might be getting the only love and attention of the day.

It is so easy to get overwhelmed by our "to-do" list. The curriculum and standards seem to be the only focus.

I need to remember that I am not teaching just standards and a curriculum but 17 little kiddos that God has placed in my room for a reason.

I also pray that I remember this poem each day.

I will be back very soon to share the give away winners. =)

Question of the Day: Do you want a *freebie* for Stretchy Snake, Lips the Fish, or ten frame math games?

Leave me a heart note and let me know. =)

Do you feel frustrated too at times with EVERYTHING teachers have to do???

From My Heart to Yours,

49 heart notes:

Lisa R. said...

I would love a freebie for stretchy snake especially at this time of the year with my first graders. Thank you for this post! I have been struggling with my to-do list from the beginning & I have to remember not to let it overwhelm & frustrate me. My students are what keeps me going, because I love what I do. Thanks for reminding us of that! :)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Ash said...

Oooh all those are great ideas but I would probably love stretchy snake as well!

Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

Sara at school said...

Oh so frustrated at times! Make the old math curriculum meet Common Core by jumping all over the place. New school wide behavior plan. Change from science to writing. And today - my literacy coach wanted me to predict how many of my kids I think will be reading 92 wpm by the end of the year.
And yes, I too have that sinking feeling that I stink as a teacher.
But... Trying really hard to focus on what I am able to accomplish and what the little (and big) positive things that happen at school.
Think I'm venting :)

ashleythurston said...

I would love one for lips and 10 frames.. and yes all teachers feel frustrated at times!!! love your blog:)

Unknown said...

I feel the same way about blogging. I don't know how people have time. I swore this week I would do better. I need to do better about writing my ideas down. We have been doing RTI at our school too but I don't feel it is a true RTI. I am really struggling as a special education teacher allowing some of these students into special education. Please remember I teach 8th graders and most of them are not trying. They would rather talk to their bff. I have kids in my resource class that honestly are in need of the extra support because they are at least 3 or 4 grade levels behind. What are your thoughts on the RTI process at your school? I agree though we are not just teaching a curriculum.

Carrie said...

I am right there with you....There is so much to get done and there is little time to do it all. It is frustrating to feel like you can't do what you know in your heart would be best for your kiddos. I appreciate you and the time that you put into this blog! Would love any freebies you have!!

Joanne Miller said...

Love your comic! It's perfect! Our county has implemented three huge initiatives and every teacher feels like they're drowning! I keep trying to keep everyone calm by reminding them of why we're here, but it's so hard with so many things being thrown at you! When I read your blog I KNOW you're a great teacher! Don't ever think otherwise! We all have to stick together to do what we know is right for our students!
Head Over Heels For Teaching

Lisa Mattes said...

Stretchy Snake, please!
And, your post made me feel more human. I feel soooo many of those same things right now!!! And, if you think YOU are a bad teacher, I'd be afraid of what you'd think of me as a teacher. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION to me!!!
Growing Firsties

Clip Art by Carrie Teaching First said...

You pretty much described my life. Trying to do too many things all at once never feeling like you get everything completely where you want it to be.

Clip Art by Carrie Teaching First said...

You pretty much described my life. Trying to do too many things all at once never feeling like you get everything completely where you want it to be.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, this post was SO what I needed to hear! I read a ton of teacher blogs and am always so wistful at how you have it all figured out. There is just SO MUCH to do and so many needs; it is overwhelming to say the least. So thank you for the reminder that it isn't just me!

Anonymous said...

To be honest, this post was SO what I needed to hear! I read a ton of teacher blogs and am always so wistful at how you have it all figured out. There is just SO MUCH to do and so many needs; it is overwhelming to say the least. So thank you for the reminder that it isn't just me!

Jessica said...

This is exactly how I feel!! Especially like your Noah's Ark reference and the picture because it is so true. Thank you for reminding what is really important! I would love Stretchy the Snake-we are working on this right now! Hope the overwhelmness eases soon.

Apples and Papers

Trish said...

You read my mind EXACTLY!! Often I am feeling overwhelmed when the people who sit in an office all day make decisions about what teachers need to do and really have no idea just how full teacher's plates really are. Often I am a mother, grandmother, friend, nurse, social worker, hairdresser, cook, cheerleader, and a ton of other things, often all in one day! Yet the powers that be in the upper management feel it necessary to add to our work load all the time, because after all, all you do is teach little kids.
I get so tired of the media lambasting teachers, what about the teachers who care so much that they care and love and create a safe place for their little ones each and everyday. Makes me sad that we pay football players and hockey players outrageous salaries to play a game! Sorry for that little rant! I guess a nerve was touched! I would LOVE a freebie on Stretchy the snake! I am trying to teach my very low little lovelies how to write what you hear in words.

Owls and Lessons, Etc. said...

I am totally feeling ya! I am to the point that if someone else comes and asks for data, an appointment, lesson planning, or PLC I'm going to dip into their buckets!! And if I have one more meeting... I also try to keep in mind that God put these kiddos in my class for a reason, but some days it's hard to see past everything else. I hate that I have to bring my work home and grade or plan instead of enjoying my 3 year old and my husband. Something has to give or it's going to be me giving out. Don't worry, you are definitely not alone. And it's teachers who have to look out for other teachers... no one else truly understands what this profession has turned into over the last decade.

Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

Joanna said...

It so nice sometimes to know that someone feels the same way I do.

Being in a new grade level with information I've NEVER seen before with 25 students..some with extreme learning and emotional needs (and who somedays just can't stinkin' leave each other alone!)...adding to just that is all of our district no-option requirements and a to-do list that is at least 20 things long on any given day...I'm ready to quit. I'm only 30 some days into the school year. It's ridiculous.

Thanks for the encouragement! :)

amandapreece said...

Umm, my blog has definitely suffered since school started back! I'm a hot mess! It's so nice to know that we're not alone! I'd love the ten frame math games freebie--I'm struggling to put together functional math centers right now and that would definitely help! Hang in there!


Erica said...

Hi Heather! Thanks for sharing this post. :) Things are stressful fight now, aren't they? Your words of encouragement are much needed. :)

As for your question, I would love Stretchy freebies, but anything you make would be wonderful.

Sprinkles to Kindergarten

rebecca said...

I would love some freebies! Thanks Heather and keep your head held high....we are all feeling the same way!

Jamie said...

Yes I feel the same way!!!! I actually wonder how many teachers need anxiety meds because of all of the stress! I know I'm close-new "curriculum" (I give that term loosely because really its just a list of standards someone in the district thought we should teach per quarter) and the common core make me feel like I'm a brand new teacher every day scrambling to make materials and get everything done. I could go on but won't, except to say you're not alone, you're not a bad teacher, and whenever you get around to it I'd use those materials you were speaking of.

Lori said...

I often feel the same way at the end of the day. I need to keep reminding myself there is only so much I can do and ask myself, did I do my best that day. Self reflection helps me see strengths and weaknesses in my teaching. Ten frames freebie would be great!

Jane said...

Any of your freebies would be a blessing to me!! Your poems are such inspirations. I'm impressed that so many of you can even find any time to blog. I am not a blogger but sure enjoy all of yours. Hang in there everyone!

Carolyn said...

Take comfort in the fact that most teachers feel the same was as you do. It is the way of our profession now and we have to do a lot of self-talk to get through this. Also, take comfort that in your district/school they at least still value small class sizes! 17 kiddos is HEAVEN. We have 30 little K-3 kids crowded in each classroom and the neighboring district has 33. I just can't "touch" them all in each day/week.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I would like anything to do with reading. I need a little more explanation on the turtle talk bingo. Could you possibly email me at ? Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! You remind me everyday that my little kindies are put in my room for a reason! We are all feeling overwhelmed with the political climate in education. I agree we just need to stick together, uplift each other and really try to just enjoy what we do within our classroom walls. The interactions with the kids is what keeps me going. I think you are amazing, especially your willingness to create and share and say it how it really is in your blog! Tina

Anonymous said...

Everyday, meetings,meetings, and more meetings. I always look forward to your blog. I would love to have the ten frame math.
Thank you!

Madison said...

I think everyone feels the same. You are an amazing teacher. Just keep up the great work and take time for you.
Life with Mrs. L

Marielle Slappe said...

The beginning of the year is SO stinking hectic and overwhelming. Just remember to take care of yourself and...breathe :)

Unknown said...

I really needed to hear this today...don't feel as if you are alone. I have felt the same overwhelming feeling since school started this year. Thanks for sharing, and always remember what a difference you are making. :)

Jennifer K. said...

The beginning of the year is always hectic! I know that just the first week of meetings, BEFORE the kids came, I was ready to quit! I was just sick of meetings, sick of people telling me "if you're not in it for the kids, leave." which seems to be the response any time anyone ventures to question when we're supposed to fit in all of the 10,000 things we have to do. Of COURSE I'm in it for the kids - it's certainly not for the paycheck lol! But I'd like to be able to concentrate on teaching without worrying about the 50 different reports I have to fill out! So, don't you dare feel like a bad teacher - you are awesome and your heart is in the right place! Your students are blessed to have you!

And I would love a freebie for Stretchy Snake or Lips the Fish!


Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Mrs.C said...

I spent two hours in meetings today. You're not alone! As for the freebie, Ten Frames please!!! :)

Ms. M

Maria said...

I feel the same way. Too many meetings and so much data collection and paperwork to keep track of. I need a personal assistant! We're working with ten frames and stretching words so a freebie would fit in perfectly! Thanks.

The Kinder Garden said...

Yes, it can be very frustrating! It seems like more gets added to our plate but nothing gets taken off in return...

Pamela said...

Heather, you are so right on target with how I am feeling these days! I am just southwest of you in San Antonio, so we are also under the gun with tons of mandates and directives, RtI, TPRI, Cscope lessons for every subject and no time to do it all. Your messages, though, are always just what I need to hear, dear sister. Your ministry through this blog is truly a blessing to all teachers. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings as well as your awesome freebies.

Kinderkids said...

I would REALLY appreciate a freebie to go with stretchy the snake to use with my first grade intervention students. I share your frustration. I have to keep reminding myself to do what I can do and trust God to take care of the rest. Thank you for your ministry beccause that is truly what your blog is.

A Tale of 2 First Grades said...


Wow! Do I feel and understand EVERYTHING you have to say about perfect looking schedules in the beginning and how things change very quickly. Great post Heather!


Mrs Brown said...

I hope I am not too late; I would love a freebie for Stretchy Snake!


Mrs. Lynes said...

I understand EVERYTHING you just posted about!! It seems like they keep adding more and more for us to do... new paperwork, meetings and more meetings, document this and that, do this new acronym... and it gets overwhelming at times. We can only do so much, and sometimes I want to scream, "Just let me teach!"

Sarah said...


I have one little guy that today was HIS BEST DAY EVER! He was with us all day learning and being a positive member in our classroom!

The past 6 weeks have been overwhelming for me, but I cant even imagine the stress its been in his life! Phew! Now, to wiggle in the academic stuff!!

Hugs! Love all your stuff!

Unknown said...

You always write posts that are relevant and honest. Thank you for sharing with us!
~Heidi V.

karen @ Smarticle Particles said...

just read this and all I can say is "Amen sister!". We are not miracle workers, and it seems that the further away and the longer away from the classroom administrators (some, not all) get, the more unrealistic their expectations are. My goal this year is to do my best and concentrate on what is inside my four walls.


Love Teaching said...

Love this post. Love your blog!!!!At times I feel like this too. I am so new at this..blogging...and haven't quite grasp everything, but can totally relate.

Thanks for visiting and being my newest follower.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all your great ideas with all of us.