i am hoping that by now, all of my colleagues in education can successfully say that they have survived the school year! although i am teaching summer school, i’m pleased to say that i survived my first year in a new school, and in a new role. recap starts in 5….4….3….2….1…
- i transitioned schools. the tension amongst administration was getting pretty heavy at my previous middle school. less focus was on the needs of the kids, kind of thing. so after three years of giving it my all, it was time for a much needed change. i went back to my roots. elementary school. the little kids. the impressionable little people who make you smile, give you hope, and are quick with witty sayings. not to say that these things don’t occur in middle school. but the tone of this specific point is geared towards the elementary kiddos.
- i ended up teaching an SLS class. for those unaware, SLS stands for specific learning supports. in this role, i am responsible for not only targeting IEP goals for each student, but teaching common core standards to the same population, which consists of 3rd-5th graders. i’ve never done this before. i had qualms. throughout the year, my students and i managed to iron out every wrinkle that was thrown our way. added bonus: i will have the same set of students next year and up until 5th grade. that’s just how it works. i loved them so much that i even agreed to teach them during the summer. i know, i know. but it’s only for 20 days.
- this school year, i was given an assistant. talk about a relief. i was excited when i found out, yet very hesitant. here’s the thing. i typically am uninterested in working with a paraprofessional and it’s due to the ghosts of paraprofessionals past. this time, it was no different. so it’s safe to say that after single handedly teaching a class of 9 students with individualized educational plans, while implementing common core curriculum standards, i managed to come out unscathed. not too bad for a first year at a new school in a new role.
now that i am no longer considered a “fresh fish” of the school, i have also learned a few things. these are things that i have known mostly, but have seen it on a different level. if my observations can help out the next person, then my job is done.
- special education teachers: please continue to advocate for our kids! the impact that special education has within a school system still needs to be defined, modified, etc. in addition to their parents, we are the best advocates for our students!
- speak up: this is a no brainer but something that i struggle with at work. now, don’t me wrong. it’s very unnecessary to be “that guy” or “that girl”, but there is always a professional way to get your message across. be diligent about that role and act accordingly.
- use your resources: be it the colleagues around you, social media groups, what have you. no one person is an island. i was truly able to benefit from my service providers this school year. the occupational therapists, speech and language professionals, social workers, and psychologists. teamwork truly made this dream work. hoping for another win, in this department, in the fall!
say there, educator pals. did you make it through a tough school year? or just make it out of the school year unscathed, although tension was afoot? care to share your story?