It's amazing how the simple changes, even the good ones, can affect a classroom. This week my school hired a paraprofessional for my room. Also, my intern started. Both are fabulous and bilingual, which helps a great deal as most of my students are English Language Learners. Having this change occur caused chaos. There have been 2 incidents of furniture throwing, swearing, and out and out defiance from many of the students. I went so long alone in the room with 15 students and 6 different grade levels and now that I have support the ruckus has begun. I know that in a few days it will all settle in and my room will be better than before. Could be a long few days though.
I will say that the learning in my room has at least doubled since the help arrived. I now find myself able to finish a reading group without running over to stop a fight or to break up an argument. Finally I will start to see some strong progress. My older students have been troupers helping out with the kindergarten friends. Even getting shoes tied and jackets on is a huge help.