Tuesday, June 7, 2011

RTI training

Hey kids, another post, another day.
I went to an RTI training with the UFT Teachers' Center today and while I don't teach the "core" subjects, I left feeling a little more optimistic that someone knows what's going on. Hit the juuuump.

Okay, so you may or may not know this about me, but I'm a middle school art teacher. I teach 6th-8th grade and have noticed a lot of issues with kids coming into the middle school system. Specifically, I teach at risk kids in a high needs area and I have folks in 8th grade who still can't read. What gives? What occurs to me, and it was really really good to hear from the RTI folks is that major intervention needs to start happening at an early age. We simply cannot pass kids on to middle school without the proper skills to succeed. They become behavioral issues and require even more work to bring to grade level. Now, I've seen amazing teachers make incredible gains with students, but it still stands that there are a number of kids coming into middle school woefully unprepared.

RTI is looking to take increased interventions at an early age. There is a mandate for K-4th grade reading to begin to use the RTI program in the (I believe?) next year. I think it's a good thing. As a program director for four years, I can tell you that the foundation of the program starts young. If you have a strong base, then as they feed up into the later years there is increased buy in and loyalty. Why have we not been using THESE business principles all the time? So. Check it out. It looks like in a well run elementary school, it could do amazing things.

Do you guys know any other intervention programs to help kids struggling at the moment - please feel free to share.

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