2/22/13

Return to 'Student' Status

So here I am, a mom, a teacher, a student, and I realize that I have been practicing the harmony of these three areas of my life for some time now, but without the all the imposed schedules and formal deadlines.  So this year I have returned to work/ school as a class size paraproffessional (working with 3 third grade teachers to support the close to 70 kiddos of diverse educational and behavioral needs in their classes) and I have returned to student status so I can keep growing my skills and credentials as a teacher.

 So testing. . . "Get up and go to work on schedule while getting children to and from schools". . . Check.

I can do this.  Not only that, I am really enjoying getting to know the children and the teachers, and figuring out how I can best support them all, it is an intersting job.  It is a relief to me really how much I am enjoying getting to know the teachers and how to best support each of them and their unique needs.  And it is a great feeling because I realize I can do it and I like it. They are each so different, just like the kids, and the classes.

Next layer of challenge:  For a month or so, I have also been enrolled in two hybrid online courses.  (For those of you who need that decoded, it means we meet in person for 3 classess, while completing most of our coursework and weekly discussions and assignments on line.)  What can I say, just one sounded too doable *smirk*, I wanted to challenge myself.  It is an interesting combination so far and the classes are right up my ally.  Positive Behavior Supports, and Learning Disabilities and Instructional Techniques, are both taught by the same instructor and fairly compatible to take together.  My biggest challenge is keeping from getting the two tangled up in my mind.  But isn't that what we really want in the end?  So, while trying to keep the assignments organized by class, is a bit of a challenge, I think allowing the two courses to mix in my mind and experience is a good thing overall.  (And all this while the clean laundry pile stares me down as I read-that adds another element. . . you wouldn't believe how much energy it takes to be stared down by your own clean laundry!)

Another challenge, because I have focused particularly on the behavior piece on my own for a couple years now, it to really stretch myself and go beyond the understandings I have already reached to try to shape a managable classroom philosophy.  One that is strong enough to not be swayed by the peer pressure of other teachers who may not understand or agree, and flexible enough to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners.  As you know, if you have been reading here for any length of time, Dr. Ross Greene is my hero.  Now how do I shape what I have learned from him into a practical, doable, classroom philosophy for management that opens the door for learning and acceptance of differences in a classroom setting.

As you know, that is my end goal.  To be the classroom teacher who sets up the environment for success.  I have had the added benefit of working with a diverse set of teachers, and even more diverse set of kids, and learning from them each day what techniques work, what seems to work at first, and what strategies get in the way despite good intentions.  It is an interesting mix and a constant reminder to me of these three truths


  • "Nobody's perfect." 
  • "Everyone is different"
  • "Everyone can learn"

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