Learning The Art of Teacherly Love

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 08 2012

November News

November has only just begun, and it is already proving to be an eventful time of the year in our classroom.  From regrouping and refocusing after Hurricane Sandy caused us to close for two days, to the Halloween Candy “Hangovers,” the Election craze, and now… a Nor’Easter and… new students.

As of today, we have officially added 2 more boys to our crew.
When I say official, I mean its never really official in our classroom until their names are on the Bathroom/Break Sign-Out Sheet, and as of this morning those copies have been made.

Because Special Education requires constant review, monitoring, and revision of a student’s progress, it is not unusual for a student’s placement to be changed following a reevaluation or IEP meeting.  Or even, just because the parent or guardian feels a spot in my classroom is the best fit for their child… As in customer service, the family is always right.

Now, these boys are not technically “new” to our school, or even new to our classroom.  I have seen them, and interacted with them, on a near daily basis this year, as they are a part of our Special Education population.  However, they are new to our daily schedule, our classroom norms and routines, and even our curricula.  Now, they are my boys.

Thus, let the class list expand, let my daily redirections (and testing of my patience) increase exponentially, and let there be more added to my list.  If our classroom is the best fit for these boys, then let’s make it happen.

So, on Tuesday, a day when “There’s no kids because Our School is a Voting Location,”  I prepared for my new boys.  I added them to all the classroom lists, trackers, and seating charts.  I moved more tables into our room, rearranged all the furniture, and successfully “acquired” (in essence, stole) two additional computers.  Needless to say, it is not an easy thing to get new students, for the teacher, or the students.
While I am worried about how the new boys will affect our classroom chemistry we have created, I am more concerned with how the original crew will take it.  Especially considering one of the new students is the younger brother of one of my original boys… Now when they are home, they’ll be together, and when they are at school, they’ll be together… We will just have to wait and see how that sibling situation plays itself out.  I will secretly be preparing to keep them separate as much as possible, but I am hoping that they will hold each other accountable with their “I’m gonna tell mom you weren’t listening today” comments.

In other news, with all these set-backs, and the minor chaos that we have had occurring in our room, I had a student meet his IEP Goal for math… TODAY!  Just in time for me to quickly update and adjust his IEP goals for his annual meeting tomorrow morning!  That made my day.  :)

There is no doubt November is turning into a very busy month.  The weather seems to be throwing us curveballs, keeping us from getting our lengthy list of things done, and yet providing us with some much needed rejuvenation and rest… Looking ahead, November will need to be a “Tunnel Vision” month; no looking around, no losing sight of our end goals, nose to the ground, getting things done.

This Week’s Philly Photos :)

 Phamily in Philly!
(Just one day before Sandy unleashed her wrath!)

Practicing Exclamation! Sentence Writing!
(He often has bacon in his lunchbox… The child loves his bacon.)

Our new “All-Star ‘Chairs’”-aka Fitness Balls
In addition to our “Fidget Toys” we use during lessons, we will also sit on these to help us stay focused, and still get our needs to move met!
Let’s hope no one gets hurt!

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    Dare to Teach with Love… Never cease to Learn.

    Greater Philadelphia
    Elementary School
    Special Education

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