Trying to find math inside everything else

Starting Over

One of the reasons I wanted to teach 9th grade when I first started was because I wanted to, eventually, know all the students in the school. (There were other reasons, but that’s one of them.)  So after four years, I’ve taught everyone math and really enjoy knowing all the students well. (Well, I didn’t teach everyone – the students who skipped me to go straight to Geometry, but I managed to get to know most of them in other ways.)

So, because of that, I’ve taught a new batch of students every year, and every year I can refine my routines, toss what didn’t work, keep what did, and try out new things.

But next year there’s a very good chance I’ll be teaching Algebra II – the first time I’m teaching the course (and any main math course besides Algebra I). And that means my students will be the current sophomores, who I taught last year. And I’m wondering, how does that work? What can I carry over easily? Will transferring routines and getting started be faster (not just because they know the routines but are also older)? Will it be harder to toss out routines they liked that I didn’t because they know them? Will the honeymoon period at the beginning of the year be shorter, or longer?

I don’t know, but I’m hoping some people will having some insight. What do you do when you teach the same kids again?

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Comments on: "Starting Over" (4)

  1. Several times during my career (including this year), I taught 7 the and 8th grades so that at least some of my 8th graders are students I had the previous year. Personally, I love it! There are some drawbacks, but for me they are outweighed by the benefits. I find that I can get going faster with the 8th graders since they’ve already had me and know my expectations. This also works for and new 8th graders I get, as my veterans will teach them my procedures and get them up to speed.

  2. I had precalc and then calc with the same teacher in consecutive years. I think there was one less student in the class for calc than for precalc, but it was otherwise the same class. We had about half a period to adjust and then went straight into the learning new things (technically, I think we did a little review of what we’d forgotten from the previous year).

    You probably won’t have anything quite that drastic as the classes will probably be comprised of different students. I don’t know how my teacher felt about it, but we had liked her the previous year so things went pretty well (aside from minor complaints that we actually start working so quickly)

  3. I taught 6th grade for a year, than moved to 8th grade. The year I taught my former 6th graders in 8th grade is easily one of my favorites. Of my almost 100 students, I had to learn only about a dozen names during the first week.

    The students know me, and even through they had me as a fist year teacher, the inconsistencies and troubles that plague first-year teachers did not prevent carry over to this group of students as 8th graders.

    While learning and creating new curriculum is difficult, I would advocacy for anyone to loop with their students.

    • That’s comforting to here. If a first year teacher can leave all their troubles behind when they get the students 2 years later, then certainly as a 3rd to 5th year I should be able to manage. Now I’m extra excited for it.

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