Our elementary school’s mascot is the Jaguars and Jagtime is our dedicated RTI time for enrichment and reteaching. As the special education teacher on the team, I have a group. It’s math. It’s 5th grade. I work with 3rd-5th grade and this is my most challenging group. They keep me hopping and at times very discouraged. I was having one of those really down times this week, when you start to wonder if any of this is making a difference. The short cycle assessments are inconsistent and the effort is lacking.
I’m racking my brain to make it interesting, fun and have positive long term effects for their math learning. But wonder if my efforts are actually helping.
5th grade teacher: Jagtime is canceled today because we have a program.
Me (secretly relishing the break): Thanks, we’ll carry on next week.
Later that day……
A young lady in my 5th grade Jagtime stops me in the hall.
5th grade girl (bright, verbal, difficulty with number sense): We don’t have Jagtime today?
Me: No, not today.
5th grade girl: Oh, darn. I like Jagtime.
Me (honestly surprised): You do?
5th grade girl: Yes! I love the word problems. They’re fun.
Me (giving that girl the biggest, warmest smile possible): Me too….. Me too, I love jagtime and the word problems.
My heart was bursting. My whole perspective on that 30 minutes with those students turned from negative to positive. That one minute conversation we shared gave me information that no assessment could and the second wind I desperately needed. I won’t give up.