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At my school, the specialists team (art, music, p.e.) does the schedule and
even though we try to accomodate every teacher's wishes, it isn't always
possible. Being an elementary teacher requires flexibility and the
reassurance that if you don't get your way this year, you will next year.
I have 6 sections a day - 50 minutes long for grades 1-5, 30 minutes for
kindergarten. I personally prefer to not have the same grade levels in a
row simply because I would be teaching the same lesson over and over in the
same day. I find that I not only get bored if I teach the same lesson to
two classes in a row, but I tend to lose my edge and leave some things out,
thinking that I have already gone over it.
The one thing that *I* insist on when the schedule is made up, is that I
have 5 minutes between each class for the express purpose of switching
supplies. I have 5 tables in my art room and I have 5 of everything -
marker baskets, crayon baskets, pencil cans, brush cans, etc., so that
switching supplies is fast and efficient. In fact, frequently I have the
students get their own supplies once I am done with direct instruction. I
have found that knowing where everything is and being able to get the
supplies they need to do their work, gives the students ownership of the
room. I just have to make sure that everything gets put back in it's place
so it can be found by the next group to come in.