I'm teaching one section of algebra 1 preAP this year, and I feel like I take extra care of them ... because they're "young uns", and they're learning the foundation for everything else that comes, and they're just so darned cute most of the times. With that said, there are still some "young uns" issues.
There's one whiney child that grates on my last nerve, and I have to work extra hard to not show it. Everything we do, her response is (insert whine), "I don't get it. I don't get anything." She needs to be hand-held through every step. It got to the point where she snapped back at me in class one day because I told her to get to work when she was chatting (because she JUST didn't get it and was waiting for me to do things as opposed to getting help from her more capable group mates).
I was super frustrated last week, so I sent e-mail to her other teachers to explain the situation and to see if it was just me and my class or if these issues came up elsewhere. Two other teachers responded and mimicked what I said about her neediness. They mentioned that she either has a capable friend sitting by her to help or the teacher literally DOES break things down into baby steps. This made me feel better and gave me an idea of copying extra "reteach" sheets for each topic so that she'll have extra practice to look at while the rest of the class is "zooming" along.
She was better in class this last time, but had to leave, so I didn't get to test out my extra-sheet idea yet.
I'm also dealing with a large portion of the class (4-6 out of 28) not turning in ANY homework. I think they're still used to middle school where you magically pass no matter what. I've made some calls home, so hopefully that will produce some late work this coming week.