Thursday, September 05, 2013

Some days, you just have to remind yourself to breathe. The week seems to be zooming at the speed of light at the same time it is dragging like watching paint dry.

We're off to a great start overall... many success stories in that column. But in the other column, I have to learn to breathe.

Guided study is opposite band this year. This means that special ed students have to make a choice. So one of my young men chose band. I don't blame him. Band is fun. You get to make noise, be a little wild, express yourself. Guided study is work time, pure and simple WORK TIME.

But he's been out of Guided Study and in band one day and he's already behind and missing one assignment that I know of... and we are in Day Three of school. Yeah, I am sure he will survive successfully without that hour of Mom At School hounding him to get his work done.

Today the tardies started too. First hour, one girl came about 10 minutes late. Granted, that time of the day, it is a parenting issue, not a student issue, to a certain extent. But then, same girl, tardy to fourth hour. She came and checked in and had some crisis elsewhere to deal with. Despite me asking her to take care of it another time, she left anyway.

The first days of school are about teaching a routine, a schedule, a pattern of expectations. It seems like herding cats to try to create those routines with students, especially special ed students with organizational issues. But we do it, over and over, over and over, over and over, until we get it figured out. I was soooooooooooo impressed that on Day Two, once my 8th graders had their math books and notebooks, when I came in the door at the final bell, they were all working on their Math Starter, just like they learned last year. It was such a relief to know they learned and remembered.

So now we learn how to have language arts class. I've cotaught language arts, but never had my OWN LA class. Together we will create our learning path. I'm trying to show them they ARE writers and readers.. and even more important, THINKERS. These are kids who are too often content to sit in the back of the regular classroom and  coast their way through, either copying, just not doing, mostly just biding their time until the bell rings. But I want this year to be different. I want them to realize they are capable! I am trying to hook them into writing with some art type projects about themselves, ideas I've borrowed from others. So far, it's been a fantastic start with them writing more and longer than I thought possible. Of course, we need to learn to work on quality, not just quantity, but for now, I am tickled pink :D

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