Just completed our first full week of school, and this year is going to be a busy one! But I have a feeling it’s also going to be a good one despite several niggling things that we always have to go through as we start.
Indulge me as I get my whining out of the way:
- A computer that seems to have a dead power supply. I reported this a couple weeks ago and the tech folks are taking their time on it. This is probably because I have one working machine plus I resurrected an old 550 Mhz PII and got it online using a Puppy Linux 4.0 CD so the paras can get online.
- Anemic air conditioning which make our room the hottest in the building. Try doing all the lifting we have to do in the GA heat without getting cranky
- Gloves; this one is solved, but every year I order gloves to use for changing. And every year the order mysteriously gets lost as those responsible for delivering/obtaining the order tries to get their stuff together. I don’t like having to complain to the highest levels for something that seems so trivial.
- My class roster still doesn’t include two of my students which makes my numbers look smaller than they really are. Seven students still look small until you consider that they are almost all students with PIDs and in wheelchairs.
- Nothing was ordered from what we submitted last year as far as supplies.
- I’m already feeling behind!
- Lesson plans – I’ll get to that in a minute
Now for some good points:
- New paras – I have a couple new folks on board and I think we’re going to really do well together. I have to get my act together to get them trained up, but that’s on me, not them as they seem to be pretty quick to pick up on what I’ve taught so far.
- Despite the nigglers above, I feel like some folks are listening to me when I complain ( not that I give them much of a choice!). There are some benefits to being irreplaceable.
- The parents have pretty much all bought-in, so far as far as communicating back and forth. Having them on board can really make a difference on the year.
The new principal wants all teachers to submit lesson plans on a weekly basis. He’s flexible as far as allowing the teachers to collaborate and work together but he’s also working towards having some sort of uniform lesson plan for everyone in the building. I have no idea of how I’m going to fit into that scheme. One of the most common questions I get asked by the new PID/SID teachers is “what do you do for lesson plans?” I don’t have a good answer to that. The state DOE has some resources that might be helpful, especially the stepwise worksheets (if the links aren’t broken). But I’m having difficulty getting my mind wrapped around the standards-based nature of it. My kids are anything but standards-based! They are entirely too exceptional for anything to be “standard!”
This is why I fear and loathe the “one-size-fits-all” mentality of our educational system. It inherently discriminates against everyone who does not fit. It takes my wheelchair kids and throws them down the proverbial stairs simply because ramps are not standard. I have to write standard lesson plans because there is some rule that everything must be standardized. Welcome to the educational system of the 19th century and the industrial revolution.
Plans are a good thing, and I do have educational programs in place. For sure, I need to do a better job of adding structure to our day so the students and paras function a bit better. My lesson plans would be better written in a format the lends itself to picture schedules.
These ideas are not helping at the moment, as my lesson plans are due at 8:20 Monday morning. So I I’m starting with the ideas I had last year and building on those. We did do a few of those things, but honestly never got to most of it. In fact, it broke down within a month. But this is a new year and hope springs eternal!
Yeah,this time last year I was was making it my farewell tour. So much for that idea! Here I am again! Let’s see if I can get it right this time.
Here’s some quick and dirty plans that sort of align with the GAA. Not very good, but hopefully I’ll improve that this year.