They all sat in a circle and she passed out their little envelopes of names. There were a handful in their own conversations, one crying for his mom, some pulling their names out of the envelopes and still more looking and listening elsewhere. Between the two of us we got them all settled with their names out in front of them and she proceeded to pick letters. Some kids picked up every letter in their name when they had the one she called out, others were not listening, and still others were now playing with their envelopes instead of listening to the letters.
A game that should have taken 15 minutes took 30 but in the end all the kids recognized the letter she called out to a letter in their name. Was it chaotic, yes, did it take too long, yes, was there learning and progress, YES! All because a highly qualified teacher was doing an amazing job in a situation the budget and district has put her in, a true inspiration.
I am once again inspired by the outstanding work of teachers!