The new room is taking shape and I am starting to focus on the more important aspects of the upcoming school year, instead of simply worrying about the physical aspects of where I will be.
One of the best parts of being a special ed teacher is that I get to have the same kiddos more than one year. One of the worst parts of being a special ed teacher is that I get to have the same kiddos more than one year.
This fall, I am looking forward to having many of the same faces again. Not only will I get to see them again, but the group of 6th graders I had last year, I will have for math this year as 7th graders. I LOVE teaching 7th grade math and with this group, we will have tons of fun. I can already picture the trips outside, the experiments, the group projects and the excitement. I know they struggle in their own ways with math, with school, with learning, but I also know that each one of them comes to me with unique strengths and a willingness to work hard when they feel valued. My goal and mission will be to set the stage for that success from day one.
It is always a balance between making class so easy it is not challenging and students become bored, and making the work so difficult they become overwhelmed and give up completely. Add to those challenges the curriculum mandated by powers beyond me... and the balance becomes a teetering tottering hopeless mess.
I am thinking about how to best structure the learning - do I want to use interactive notebooks? These are not students who will willingly take homework home.... so I need a plan that allows maximum use of class time. Will notebooks help that? I am imagining many partner/group activities to meet their excessive social needs. How can I best utilize their netbooks to help me individualize their needs?
Mindboggling.. and exciting... and racing here faster than I care to think!