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Slice of Life: Pull Out Teaching

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers 

Today is the first day back after Christmas break. It is always a bit of a tough morning for my children––both those at home and those I will soon see in the classroom. I plan to start my classroom children with a One Little Word activity to get them thinking about a focus for the year. My students only see me once a week, so I must pack a great deal into that 50-80 minute time frame.

This time or lack thereof is a constant reminder for me to be planned and ready. It has it's drawbacks to be so planned, sometimes I cannot be as flexible to what kids need in the moment as I wish to be. Sometimes they must wait a week and then, often, the moment is lost.
It is difficult to be a "pull out" teacher. There are critiques at every turn. Why do I seem like I have so much non-teaching time? Why don't I have to assess as often? My answer (if I was asked instead of talked about when not present) would be that my non-teaching time is consumed by obsessive planning time designed to make every second with children count. I assess every moment because I cannot leave it to the next class. And, finally, I work behind the scenes to help administrators and other teachers understand that there are different ways to help gifted kids that might be better served in a different teaching model.

Today is the first day of school in 2017. It might be tough, but I will help the students I teach learn during every minute of the time they spend with me.


  1. YOU clearly keep the students front and center in all you do! Thank for sharing and reminding me all that must be done with kids and behind the scenes! Have a great day back at your school!

  2. I hear you. I am grateful that our pull out program is daily, not weekly. I hope 2017 brings a growing understanding of the importance of the work you do. But you know, and that's what counts.

  3. Everybody's role in a building is critical, and different jobs has different demands, and expectations. Your focus on making the most of every minute with your students is critically important. Once a week ... that's very difficult.

  4. When I was on a school visit recently, a pull-out teacher (though I haven't heard that term before) had her office just off the multi-use room I was workshopping in all day. We got to chatting when I apologized for how noisy the kids and I were with our sound effects, group readings, applause, etc. (She was very kind about all that.) She clearly had some of the same issues you're facing and felt really unappreciated. Sometimes it's really difficult for people who feel overburdened (as most teachers do today!) to appreciate that other people have burdens, too--just different ones. I encourage you to share your post with your colleagues. You have more than just gifted kids to educate:>)

  5. You provide so much for these kiddos. The planning pays off in so many ways. In fact isn't your response to the students (the flex in the plan) the assessment? Don't you think?

  6. Listening to you talk through your planning process every day, I know how much those kids are getting from their time with you. We will never have enough time in the business we are in, but you make the time you have with your students count. That matters...a lot.

  7. I served as a lit coach in those final years of teaching (except that last year when I took over a classroom) & I hear you The planning is intense, and there are so many colleagues as well as students to accommodate. Well said, Kimberley!


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