5 Questions with a Basic Skills Teacher

Sunday, November 15, 2015
What does it mean to teach basic skills? What does a basic skills teacher do all day? Find out today from Amy, a teacher in Southern New Jersey.


Hi! This is Amy from Eclectic Educating, and I am a Basic Skills teacher in southern New Jersey.  I work with grades K-4.  I previously was a Title 1 reading and math teacher in Ohio for grades K-5.  Currently, I am in my sixth year of teaching and pursuing my Master's degree in Educational Leadership. 
Eclectic Educating


  • Begin the day with any necessary testing: Running Records, DRA's, and I&RS paperwork.
  • Pull out two groups of first graders for guided reading instruction and then rush off to Kindergarten for two more groups, push-in this time.  
  • Make my way to the top floor of the school for pull-out third grade guided reading intervention.  Squeeze in three groups before dashing to recess duty.  
  • Enjoy a 30 minute lunch with some of the funniest, most caring coworkers around in the faculty lounge.  Then, head off to first grade for writer's workshop conferences, followed by 40 minutes of prep. 
  • End the day with a second dose of guided reading instruction to the same first graders from the morning.  Depending on the day, attend PLC, staff, or parent meetings.


  • Working with a variety of grade levels
  • Getting to know students personally through the small group setting
  • Getting to work with and learn from a variety of teachers
  • and of course...working with kids!


  • The need to accommodate a variety of staff members' schedules and preferences
  • Not enough time for quality intervention in 20 minutes!
  • The large amount of testing and paperwork created by I&RS (Intervention and Referral Services)



  • Be flexible.  Working with so many adults and students can be very difficult.  Things will not always go according to plan. 
  • Stand up for what you believe in and don't let others take advantage of you.  Working with a variety of strong personalities can be challenging.  Be confident in what you are doing.



This is a tough one...is there wifi on the deserted island? Since, I'm guessing no...the tablet is out.  So that leaves...post-its.  You can do anything with post-its.  Your own work, text-analysis, written response!

A big thanks to Amy for letting us get inside her head and her job! Still have questions? Leave them in the comments! 

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