Teaching Tuesday: Class Lists

I have not spent so much time checking my email and Facebook since . . .this time last year. You see, the week before school starts, we get a letter in the mail telling us who we  our kids have for the year. Even though I don't usually know much about the teachers, especially for Ironflower, I am always dying to find out whose class the kids are in.

So that I can contact every other local mom I know and find out what other kids are in their classes.

This year, Lovebug has Ironflower's second grade teacher (at least I know what to expect) and Ironflower has the teacher who's been on maternity leave for the last year (so I've heard nothing, which is probably good) so I think I'm doubly obsessed with who else is in their classes. Of course, I think I'm pretty typical of the area - one friend described her phone as, "blowing up" yesterday and another didn't leave the house until her mail came - so my obsession seems perfectly reasonable.

They'll make new friends, right? And get along with their new teachers? 

The moms who've listened to me rant about homework, or who've gotten reading suggestions from me, always kind of look at me expectantly when the "How do they organize these classes, anyway?" discussions come up. Like I'm going to offer some insight about why it seems as though NONE of our children are EVER with their close friends. Or why that kid has this particular teacher.

But I have no actual clue. Where I taught, it was all about "continuity of care"  - a group of kids was put together (pretty randomly) in kindergarten or first grade and stayed together, through a set group of teachers. So a parent would know who all their kids' teachers would be (barring moves and firings) from first grade, plus know who would be in all their future classes (also barring moves and expulsions). I mean, once in a while a kid was switched to different grouping, but that was usually at the request of the parent.

I do remember helping when they put the new classes together way back in my student teaching days. Then the kids were sorted into high, medium and low boys and girls, so that each class would have an equal mix. The few kids with severe behavior problems were divided among the teachers, more or less evenly. But I know there are a lot more factors in my own district. The sheer numbers of people who specifically request that their children be with this kid or not with this kid has got to be a huge factor, for one thing. Another factor I know from personal experience; both Lovebug's and Ironflower's first grade teachers warned me that they were being separated from their best friends for at least the following year.

Then I think the teachers also try to take personalities into account - I really do believe that they want everyone to have a good year. Or at least a smooth one.

It's been a week and I still don't know everyone who will be in Ironflower and Lovebug's classes (yay for the preschool, where Hugmonkey has the same teacher and will be with almost all the same kids) next year, but at least they each have a kid they already know and like, plus a few familiar faces.

Hot Guy thinks they could have avoided all this angst and the all the phone calls they've probably gotten if they just sent a class list along with the teacher assignments. Hot Guy is very wise. And also sick of the drama, I'm guessing.

How does your district do it? Is there a lot of drama involved in finding out who else is in the class?

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Our local schools post lists on the door of the school, usually around August 1st. It's nice knowing in advance!