07 October 2010

October Reflections

Good afternoon,
Thank you for taking a minute to check out my blog.  I have a little bit of time to reflect on my first 6 weeks as a teacher.  I want to touch on the good things that have been going well, the things that are still causing stress and not going so well, and end with looking forward to the next couple months and the holiday season. 

I was fortunate to step into a classroom that had a majority of returning students who knew what was expected of them, who knew the building, and who had a working program in place.  I have two 8th grade students who have been able to go to their GenEd classes and perform well there.  I also have a 7th grade student who came in the first day and jumped right into his visual schedule and routines as if it was business as usual, and he has been amazing all year.  My most difficult student had newly transition to where I am from the elementary school and we have had some success helping him learn the boundaries and expectations, and getting some of his old systems and activities in place in the new setting. 

My team has been amazingly helpful in putting together new things for the students to be working on, and in keeping them headed towards meeting their IEP goals.  We have even been able to create activities that challenge students who seem to show mastery over last years curricula.  I am so glad that I have been able to mesh with my aides in the way I have, and be able to openly brainstorm ideas to see what may or may not work with students.  In addition to my immediate team, the entire TFMS building staff has been incredibly supportive of me as I'm trying to get students to be challenged and successful this year to prepare them for either the HS next year or for more success here next year.  The parents, have been a positive factor in transition being smooth for me, and for their child transitioning to getting used to me this year as well. 

Needs WORK:
Though fortunate to not step into an empty class with no materials, I am still having to weed through the materials and equipment in the room, and decipher the organization of items I have stepped into, and see how to get it to work for me.  It has proven to be a work in progress.  I also feel like I am finally going to be heading in the right direction with my most difficult student.  I think some positive things are finally getting set into motion, and we should see some changes soon. 

Over the course of the next couple months until the Christmas Break, we will be adjusting and solidifying new and old behavior plans, slowly evolving an extensive visual schedule into a simpler, more differentiable one to handle more activities and flexibility.  We will be looking at what students are doing, and how we can continue to challenge them towards new heights.  We have had some rough days, but even on those days we have seen some positive growth from all of our students, and we will continue to pull the best our students can give us from them. 

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