New York

A year of firsts for teacher new to the city

Ms. T. will be guest-blogging every other week here at GothamSchools, sharing her experience of working in a Collaborative Team Teaching classroom. This is a year of firsts for me: my first year teaching in New York City, my first year in a Collaborative Team Teaching 5th grade classroom, my first year working to meet the New York State standards, my first year with so many major behavior issues in one classroom. I come from the Midwest with one year of 5th grade teaching experience under my belt. My experience with team teaching hasn’t always been the most pleasant and took place under the supervision of college professors during teacher interning semesters. Coming into the CTT classroom, I was a bit nervous to share my class with another teacher, whom I’d met only momentarily before we were hired for the job and with whom I only spent a couple days preparing for the start of the school year. Turns out, Ms. B, my team teaching partner, and I are a perfect match for a CTT room. We share similar theories for teaching and have similar views and feelings on our classroom environment and student learning. We also work especially hard to work together as a team, which means planning together and teaching together, something not as common in other CTT rooms in our school. Our class consists of nine general education students, with a wide variety of academic levels (some as low as our students with IEPs), and ten students with IEPs (some of whom we’re not even sure why they have IEPs, because we’ve yet to receive all their paperwork). Anyone who knows the intended mix of a CTT classroom will see that the ratio is a bit off.