Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pessimism in the team

I'm a new teacher. You all know this. So I still believe that every child can achieve on a high level. I'm disappointed in my students when I don't believe they have given their best. I don't assume, "oh, you're special ed, you can't achieve." I know they can and I expect them to. I'll differentiate the hell out of my teaching for them, but I still expect them to produce work that matches my high expectations.

Today we had our first "job alike" where we met with all the 4th grade teachers in our district. We were discussing AYP and how close we are to not meeting it and how a 100% achievement isn't realistic. I can buy into that. It is unrealistic to expect 100% of students to be on grade level.

Now here is where attitude comes in. Another teacher on my grade level said, "We shouldn't expect a child with x disability to be able to inference when reading. They can't do it, so we shouldn't try to teach it." No! No! No! We SHOULD teach them. How can we EVER know what our child cannot achieve if we don't WORK with them on those skills? I believe firmly that these basic skills taught in elementary school can be taught to every child no matter their disability.

EDIT: She did it again! "A 70% is as good as he'll ever get."

AROIUeAOGHAOIUERAELW! (That's me yelling.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Day

First day went fantastic. I had almost 90% of the names down.

Hope 2nd day goes as well as the first!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Panic Before the Kids Arrive

It's time I admitted it. I have gotten at least some of a predisposition for anxiety. I was forced to admit it when I had a full fledged (shaking, crying, heart thumping) panic attack today. It was triggered today in a Professional Learning Committee meeting when I was talking about when I was going to do my intervention block and Teacher Next Door saying "But your specils are at 3 now! Didn't you see the schedule?"

Panic hit. School starts MONDAY. I ran (actually knocking something over...) to my room to check the schedule and sure enough... it had changed. Again (this would be the 3rd time). It took me FOREVER to get that first week of scheduling done, and now I would have to redo it. Team Leader and Republican both tried to help make me feel better, but it wasn't until they left that I could start to pull myself back together. I crawled under my desk, curled up into as small of a ball as possible and focused ONLY on breathing. After... 10-15 minutes I was able to pull myself together, get out, wash my face, blow my nose and start feeling like a human being again. I tried really hard to make the new specials work, but every 'positive' I could get, a negative arose. I was starting to get upset so I decided to go back and discuss with people who know.

First I went to Music Teacher, who makes the schedule. He said it was changed because Principal didn't like how the duty roster was arranged. So I went and cried to Principal and told her why it would be an issue to have my schedule the way it was. The way the schedule was arranged my "Gifted" (AEP) students would have to pack their bags before lunch (at 12:55), so that they could go directly to AEP after lunch. Then they'd go straight from AEP to specials and then home. It was a lot of responsibility to place on those kids from day one. We floated the idea of changing my specials to the morning and having my class have a different recess time. Then I mentioned that Republican had offered to switch specials with me. Principal said that would be best.

I didn't want to dump this on Republican but after some thought decided that I really should. Just THINKING about it was giving me a fit. I had to admit that a more experienced teacher could handle the daily uncertainty better than I ever could. When I told her about the pack up situation she shrugged and said, "Well, they might be late, Mrs. AEP might have to make some changes so they get things first, or they may miss some of specials. It's okay." She could take it in stride whereas I was crying.

It was a relief to hand this off to a more experienced teacher.

Locations of Site Visitors