1. Good relationships with students. Take time to get to know them and try different things. You have to get creative in order to reach each student. I have 15 students that divide my attention, but what works for me is being as honest as possible. Of course, there are so many things that students and teachers don’t talk about at school, however, most students want to talk about anything and everything. Finding the time to listen to them has been a challenge and a great reward. Every story I hear or discussion I host with students becomes another brownie point of caring. I feel that when I SHOW with my time and effort that I care about students, their ideas, thoughts, and feelings, the more they’re willing to SHOW me what they need.
2. Everyday, I hope that my students will become better and more functional people. I hope they can find the intrinsic motivation to be the best person that they can be and try their best on everything that they do. When they can advocate for themselves, they are able to access ANYTHING. I say, what do you need to accomplish your task? What is your task? Why do you think we are doing this? I like to help students become aware of their own goals and future. If we can teach students how to express what they need to complete tasks and goals, they can use that knowledge to be independent. And trust me, they LOVE being independent.
3. Resources and innovation. It is ESSENTIAL that I have quality materials to pull ideas from when I am trying to plan lessons and reach each student’s range of proximal development. Each student may have a different gate for accessing the curriculum that I plan. Without a variety of worksheets, practice, technology, games, and ways to present information to students, the goals of the curriculum will never be reached because students never reached the content. Right now, Teachers Pay Teachers, Moby Max, Wilson, Super Teacher Worksheets, and Phonics Books are paving my first year of teaching special education. I combine these resources with manipulatives that I find, borrow, or make. When students can see, touch, move and interact with the content, they are more likely to fully access the curriculum and come closer to reaching their goals.
4. Support. The familial support of my colleagues and the at-home support of my boyfriend and family hold all the crazy together. People say, “Oh, you teach? Summers off must be great. Oh and your job must be fairly easy...how hard is it to teach 2+2?” Every student is different and they have different needs and abilities. Without collaboration and de-stressing friendship, one teacher would go insane brainstorming how to help each student! I hope the friends that I have made this year will last a long time. Friends with the same struggles as you make great listening ears.
5. Breaks...for the teachers and the students. We put kids in desks and chairs with their attention focused nearly all day. Nobody at any age likes that. I’m always finding down time here and there for myself and for my students. I love taking students out for a two-minute walk to get out of the classroom and relax their mind. Some of the stories I
hear and moments I can share with students in those few minutes are things I will never forget. Mother nature never fails for a fresh breath of air and a feeling of renewal after a strenuous lesson or extended activity. Taking breaks can also help students be more focused and efficient, along with making them happy! It sounds corny, but happy
students make learning easier and teaching way more fun.
I hope these tips help you because they helped me just writing them out!
Hey, y’all! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted. Nobody knows when I’ll post or why, but mystery is fun, right?
So my life has been a little crazy since my last post in April. Thinking back, I was finishing up my Master’s degree at UVA, subbing through June at Walker School, enjoying life at Lakeside with Tyler, working hard with my twirl girls to finish up the twirling season at Nationals, and getting ready for my new jobs: Nathanael Greene Elementary 5th Grade SPED teacher and director of the new and upcoming, Next Generation Twirlers.
If you haven’t kept up in real life or to an amount on social media, then you’re probably out of the loop. That’s okay, though. :) I’m sad and glad summer is over, as it has been stressful going through these life changes. I am very excited to start school in Greene (ON TUESDAY! WHAT???). I’m also very nervous. I know I can do well, but when you really really really want something, you probably get nervous. On the plus side, everyone I’ve met so far in Greene is so kind and supportive, that I know I have nothing to worry about. Another plus side, I went to UVA, so that should help… Along with that new job, I’ve been working on a grand new adventure of starting my own baton twirling team. It is my life’s dream and is slowly but surely coming together. The Next Generation Twirlers is starting small, but I’m loving every minute so far. Nothing is set in stone just yet, as far as details go, but stay tuned!!
Thanks to my family and friends for all your support. I can promise, I wouldn’t have made it through this summer without people like my mom and Tyler. Y’all’s support means the world and I wouldn’t trade your love for anything!
Follow me below to catch up on my daily life!
Moving in and decorating and preparing a party in one week is terrifying, and I did lose some sleep. It was worth it, though. We had a great time at the housewarming party yesterday and my girls are coming today to check out the place and do some lesson outside on this beautiful Easter day. I have a lot of things to do today, including this blog post. I think instead, I’ll spend some time relaxing and enjoying the day. I’ll worry tomorrow. Enjoy these photos of the first week in our new place.
Hello, little people of my blog…
MY GREATEST APOLOGIES for never blogging. I can’t say I’m the worst blogger of all time, because even when you’re last, there is probably someone worse than you. In the least, we can all have hope that last doesn’t mean the worst!
Since the last time I posted to you lovely folk on….February 28…..I became overwhelmed by my job, my school work (which I fell about two weeks behind on), stepping back up to play ultimate frisbee in hopes of actually having friends and getting in shape, AND coaching baton twirling.
At work, we finished up Unit 7 and are now (successfully) working on Unit 8 of algebra and other things. We did not have as much success on the math SOL simulation, however, we have plenty of time to review and try again before the real SOL on May 22. Luckily this week, we are all enjoying a beautiful spring break in which I continue to procrastinate school to the fullest, enjoy time with family and friends, and lots of dogsitting ($$$).
For UVA, I did (to my mother’s surprise, as I always surprise her in how I can catch up) catch up on my school work. I have 4 online class lessons and 5 papers remaining until graduation, but Hoo’s counting…?
Life update: Tyler is thoroughly enjoying and stressing at his new job, encountering new friends, antagonizing customers, and many learning experiences. We are preparing this week for our move-in adventure with BOTH of our parents to our new apartment. Hoo knew how much stuff I could accumulate over 4 years in one apartment….but we will make it to Saturday. This new chapter in our lives will be a test, but luckily, we have the most supportive parents and friends to back us up. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our housewarming party next Saturday. If I missed you on Facebook, PLEASE let me know and I will put you on the guest list for details!
Peace and love, y’all. Go Hoos.
Long time no see. Life has been kicking my behind, so I’ve been trying to fight back. Here’s what you missed!
Last week, Tyler and I met a family that we may dogsit and babysit for, and Friday night, we went out to dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, I had some assignments due, including a big paper. Originally, I was supposed to attend a frisbee tournament in Martinsville, but I backed out for my mom to visit and help Tyler and I buy furniture.
As you all know, Tyler and I will be moving to Lakeside, and we are very excited. We made our first big, adult purchase at Haverty’s, for a couch (with a cuddler!), an armchair, a rug, and some pillows to match. It was a little expensive, but we know it will last us for a little while. PLUS, we love it and are so excited! It will all be delivered the day we move in (except for the custom-fabric chair may not).
This week did not start off good in the classroom for me. I had my first tears in front of students. It happens and now, I’m laughing about it. Today, the kids were much better for me and no one had their name written on the board (meaning recess detention!). Looking forward to my co-teacher feeling better soon. If you’re in the area and need a part-time job, please come sub!