She turned that class around, effective immediately, drew the best out of each student, and ended up staying the rest of the year. (The original teacher repeatedly said she was coming back, until late April, when finally the pretense was laid to rest!)
I worked each week with Ms. B., helping with reading and with the below-level students in particular. The first week, I was astounded and disappointed at the progress that had been lost during the teacher upheaval. It was depressing. For involved parents, the students would be fine, although less than stellar. For the less fortunate? They would not pass fourth grade, that much was clear.
But! By the end of the year, what had previously been three distinct groups of students, based on ability... had become an organized, disciplined class. The below-level kids were on-level, and the class as a whole had made a complete turn-around.
There is no clearer appraisal of a good teacher than this. I am such a fan of Ms. B.! I set out to show her some love.
With the help of another friend and mom from the class, we secretly requested that each student write a thank-you to Ms. B. I collected all of the letters into a mock grade report, and presented it to the teacher during the last week. It was very touching... the collection of letters made both of us cry, they were so heartfelt and generous. These kids recognized and loved what she had done for them - despite her no-nonsense attitude and tough love, and poured out their little hearts in thanking her. Mission accomplished! We hope she is hired by our school, as she took her teaching exam this spring... Thank you Ms. B!
Supplies used: one plain old manila folder, Stampin' Up papers & embellishments scrounged from a recent party, Making Memories alphabet rub-ons. Now isn't that "official" of me! :)