Thursday, June 6, 2013

The ABCs of sped prep Intro

I began this blog series the summer before I began teaching.  Since I'm now going into my 5th year, I thought it would be important to update some information and see how much I've grown and developed as a special education teacher.

Let's start off with a flash back to 6/6/13... "I got a job offer! First interview and first offer! Wow. Not to bad. This is going to be a piece of cake."

Then I started scouring every corner of the world wide web trying to find ideas, resources, and information on how to set up my classroom and get everything done and ready for the next school year.  This won't be like any other school year, because it's my first year teaching!  I mean I've tutored and taught in a daycare for 5 years...but this is legit, state regulated teaching!! **no pressure or anything**

A few days after the excitement of a new job wore off, I realized there is a lot more that goes into the beginning of a school year than just decorating a class and planning the lessons, now I'm entering panic mode.
-How do I furnish my classroom?
-What if my kids don't like me?
-What the heck am I going to do with a special ed. class for an ENTIRE day!?!?!
-I don't understand why there are 20 different programs a teacher has to use. I have to to input attendance, data, testing information, teacher training, medicaid and more into a separate programs! WTH?
-I'm not going to have enough time to get this all done!
-Whoa...each kid has an IEP that is a minimum of 30 pages....where do I start? How do I remember all the important info?!
-What if I forget a kid? What if the parents hate me? Yikes, what if they have a lawyer ready to pounce!?
-Do I give out my cell phone number? Or just communicate by email and daily folder? What do I write in their daily folder?
-Which kid has allergies? What if he breaks out in an allergic reaction!?
-Potty time...uh oh. Don't even want to think about that.
-So wait...I have to manage adults too...I though paras just knew what to do, when to do it, and they did it perfectly every time?
-A teachers' union...huh?
-Data? I mean...yeah, I read about that in college. Hold on, let me find that chapter in my book!
-Grade level standards...but I teach 3 grades and I have some students who can read and write and others who just lay on the floor. How do I teach the grade level standards?

Jeeze....what good was college since I feel like I'm starting from scratch?!?!?

can you help me, Mrs. Martin? This wasn't covered in any of my education courses.

Has anybody else experienced the excitement and anxiety of prepping for a new school year? Especially for your first year? Hopefully the next 26 posts will guide you to the most important things you need to focus on.  It could be helpful to disconnect from Pinterest and Instagram for a few days while you map everything out. Remember #youdoyou.  Focus on what your kids NEED!! Dive into their paperwork, contact previous case managers and talk to parents.  You're kids will love you! Make a connection with them and enter into their world.  Don't wait for them to enter yours.

Thanks for stopping by! Continue to step A...or jump to a topic from the list below!

Acronyms in Sped.
Best for the Kids (setting your classroom structure to support your kids)
Data and Document
Emergency Drill Procedures
Flexibility is my middle name
Good Grief....what's all this paperwork I see?
Hello Sub!
Independence (building independence through schedules)
Jobs in the classroom
Kindness, respect and empathy
Lessons (self contained lesson format and ideas)
Morning Meeting
No. It's okay to say it!
Organization (organize class materials)
Prep for student meeting
adaptive eQuipment and assitive tech
Rules and procedures
Surveys (for students, parents and team members)
Team (working with support staff)
Used? I'll take it! (reusing and recycling to make work tasks)
WTF? (What's the function?)
X means stop and ask first.
Yearly planning
Zzzs (take care of yourself)