We had a meeting this week with the newly hired Title I Aide for the 7th grade. She had called it to meet with us and to go over the list of the kids that she's going to be working with and getting our insights on them. This is the first year our school has qualified for Title I (for those of you outside the field of education, it's because over 50% of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch; in other words our poverty level is climbing) so this is a new experience for all of us.
I'm impressed with Miss Aide. She's bright, on the ball, enthusiastic, and seems to really want to make a difference. She, and the other aides, are having to create a program from the ground up which is no easy task. She's also working on her Master's in psychology which is pretty amazing if you ask me.
She states that the goal is to work with these kids on math and reading because that's where the greatest need appears to be, so she'll be pulling these kids out of the science and social studies classes for more one on one work with her.
I lock eyes with Mr. Social Studies, and it's apparent we're thinking the same thing. It's the old "screw science and social studies, they don't really matter," mentality that we put up with every year. However, the problem is they do matter. Right now all the government cares about is reading and math, but next year science is going to be added to the list followed shortly by social studies.
I look at the rest of the team and they all have this expression of "Is she nuts?" on their face. It is silent in the room.
Finally, team leader Mrs. Math opens her mouth. "I don't think that's right that the kids get pulled out of science and social studies. They never have aides in their rooms and they always get the special ed kids. We all have inclusion classes with another teacher in the room so the kids get a lot of attention as it is. If the kids need help in math and reading why don't you take them out of math and reading?"
Miss Aide looks a bit taken aback. "Oh, well, that's fine if it's okay with you. We just thought that if they were having trouble in those areas, they probably shouldn't be pulled out of those classes."
Mrs. Math shakes her head, "Honestly, getting pulled out of my class wouldn't be an issue since we work on independent basis anyway. In fact, I'd prefer it." Ms. Reading and Mrs. Language agree. They'd rather have the kids pulled from their rooms than from science and social studies.
Miss Aide looks at Mr. Social Studies and then to me. "So what you're saying is that the kids really need to be in your rooms, and not getting pulled out, right?"
We agree emphatically.
Miss Aide smiles. "Works for me. I'll make sure that any pull outs don't affect science and social studies."
I found out later from Mr. Social Studies that he went to talk to Miss Aide to find out if she'll be doing work in the classrooms in addition to pull out. Apparently she will. Word is she'll be in each of our rooms 2 days a week.