Thursday, April 12, 2018

You Control How Many Times A Day You Smile

Teacher behavior matters.

As a special education teacher it is often hard to control the climate and flow of my classroom. It isn't just the kids and their negative attitudes that come up after spring break. It is the para-educators coming with their negativity. It is the teachers who are stressed about testing. It is the school psychologist who is overwhelmed with paperwork and evaluations. It is your administrator being under testing season stress and has to deal with your students who just don't quite fit in.

Remember, you control how many times a day that you smile. 

It's a simple thing, but when I remember to smile and to be positive I feel like I am taking control. I am not letting the overwhelming amount of negativity that surrounds me get the better of me for today.

And the thing is, about 50% of the time you are going to have others roll their eyes and say that they "live in the real world", but the other 50% of the time someone is going to smile back. And maybe that is going to make a difference for the student who is taking in the adult's around them all the time. 

So remember, you are in charge of you. You are also in charge of providing a safe and civil climate for your student. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Things To Remember When Being Judged By Others



7 Things To Remember When Being Judged By Others

Another one that inspired me today. As a teacher you are judged constantly by everyone, and I mean everyone. It is hard to work under the microscope, but I do it because I care and am there to help kids. 

Today was a bad day. Tomorrow I am going to work hard and make it a good one. That is what sets apart a good teacher from a bad one, no matter what your score on your TPEP may be. 


Things You Can Control

I came across this on pinterest today and definitely needed the reminder. It is that time of year when you are tired, you haven't seen the sun in three weeks, and the kids in class are definitely feeling all of this 10x as much as you are.

When I was a teenager I used to read about a lot of different philosophies. One of them said to remember that the only thing you can control is your own behavior. I need to go into work tomorrow and choose to be in charge of that and let the rest of it go.

Remember, be calm and be good at what you do. The rest will come into place on it's own. 

 Things you can control




Friday, January 5, 2018

Flexible thinking, social skills

Flexible Thinking

Recently I went to a Social Thinking conference. I loved it. It gave me so many tools on how to talk to parents about social skills goals and how to reach kids.

To start making that learning accessible to my students I made flexible thinking booklets for them, reminding them of the strategies that we are learning how to use in my social groups.



They have been a hit with my students and with the teachers that I work with who also need assistance at times in talking to their class about flexible thinking. 

Strategies include:
Taking a break
Reminding yourself that you can do it
Ask a question
Ask for help
Think about the group plan
Stop and think
Tell yourself that this is a small problem

I hope that they are as helpful to you as they have been to me. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sight Word Cross out






Sight word practice can be boring, but my students love anything that gets them up and moving.

This is two of my students practicing their sight word recognition. The best part of this activity is that it is easy. Grab the sight words that you are working on, write them on a piece of paper, and start practicing. The students say the word on the card and then need to find the word to cross it out on the paper.

They loved it. 


Drive



It's funny sometimes how you can get caught up as a teacher in all the rewards and fun activities and forgot that what you are trying to teach your students is how to love to learn.


I've been reading the book Drive by Daniel H. Pink. Now, most of what is in this book is not real science. The research is extremely outdated and sources are rather laughable, but it does get you thinking about what really helps kids care about learning.

Here is actual breakdown of how we learn. The bottom line is that we learn something because it is pleasant. What stops us from learning is when something is unpleasant. It really is that simple, you do something, there is a positive response, you are very likely to do it again. As a teacher you are providing a positive environment in order to facilitate learning.

But are we getting too reliant on rewards? I know at this time of year the gimme's from the kids start to wear on me. So how do we make learning pleasant without over indulging? It's something to think about.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Play Doh Arrays

Is there anything not great about play doh?

One of my students is working on beginning multiplication. He is a very physical student, and I needed a way for him to make the tactile connections that he needs to be successful. So we spent a minute before starting out math lesson to make "perfect" balls to make arrays with.



The process of creating the balls was quick, calming, and helped my student feel a connection to his wrok that he wouldn't have otherwise had.

I often write directly on the table, and encourage my students to do the same. We use dry erase markers. This is a time saver, is easily cleaned up by the student, and brings the work to the student's level.