Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Underappreciated Specialists

I'm starting to feel as though I'm getting my sea legs in first grade. This is allowing me the opportunity to notice things beyond me, my students, and our classroom.

One of those things has been watching specialists work with my class. Intellectually I've always thought that specialists (librarians, PE, music, and art teachers) were amazing because they know almost every student in the school and work with all grade levels, from head start through fifth grade. However, I'd only ever really seen them work with the fourth or fifth graders I was teaching. Now I've seen them teach amazing lessons to first graders.

These teachers are immensely talented. They adapt numerous times a day to various groups of students who are at a wide range of ages. They have to meet the needs of hundreds of different children. I find it exhausting to try to meet the needs of the twenty students in my class. For all the challenges in that I have lots of time to get to know these students and they are all at fairly similar developmental stages. Our specialists also work alone. They do not have teaching partners or instructional assistants (usually, at least) to help them. I am awestruck by them.

7 comments:

missteachercasey said...

Hi there! I saw your page and enjoyed reading it so I added it to my blogroll! I look forward to reading more! :)

Ms. Mize said...

Thanks for sharing this! Like you I am starting the new year in a new position and it is a specialist position. I don't really know what to expect. I am going to be the librarian/Elementary Spanish teacher. Yesterday, I spent some time in my new domain. And I have looked at my job description a ton because it is so broken up and different from that of a classroom teacher. I know I will like it and hopefully love it.

kirsten said...

First, I'm so glad you're finding your "sea legs."

Also, I completely agree about specialists. They have to be experts with all age levels, instead of just a single one. I watch them and learn so much.

[It reminds me of a conversation I had with a sixth grader years ago. I may ruminate on that in a post myself, instead of spamming your comments here.]

Snippety Gibbet said...

Well, bless your heart! I feel like posting a link to that on all my art teacher web sites. Is it okay to say "thank you" for the acknowlegement? Thank you!

Tracey said...

THANKS THIS IS GREAT!

Karen said...

As a former "specialist" I really appreciate your post.....thanks for appreciating us--and our unique skills.

Sportsgirl said...

Thanks for such a wonderful compliment. It's really nice to be appreciated.