Thursday, January 15, 2009

My new class

Today was the first day of my internship in the school. What can I say- I felt like I spent the day with my own kids!

There are 8 students, and it's amazing how similar children are. After lunch, one girl did not want to be in her stander (see image below) as she is getting used to being more independent. Obviously, when she's in her stander, she can't go anywhere, and that flat out made her mad. So she cried, then she screamed, and I felt like I was at home with my 2 year old! :)
Later, I worked with 2 other students on their math lesson. We were counting wooden rings, and as they counted one, they had to place it on a dowel. Again, I felt like I was at home working with my 3 year old. Their frustration levels are about the same. :)
After helping with their math, I helped some other students with their reading. I was read 3 books by a girl with Down Syndrome. She just recently began reading (like this week!) so she was thrilled to show off her skills. Once again, as I was sitting there listening to her, I was picturing Th doing the same thing as he is reading now and weekly has to learn new words and read new books as part of his homework.
Overall, it was a wonderful day, but I was able to experience first-hand the isolation a special ed teacher feels. We are physically in the school, but we are not "included" with the others. The regular teachers look at us as we walk down the hall, and while in the lunch line today, one student was upset with his lunch choice. He began to tantrum while in line and the regular ed teacher just stared as my mentor teacher and myself attempted to diffuse the situation and keep the line moving. On a side note, I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but my mentor teacher was a professor of mine last semester. We are very close in age and already have a close friendship. Anyway, as we walked back to the classroom after lunch, she shared with me about the school climate and the animosity felt among the teachers. I must say, it's really sad and it falls back on the principal. Administrators are the ones in charge of the school, and it's their responsibility to foster a spirit of cohesion and unity among teachers. Obviously at this school she has failed to do so, and the teachers are not the only one's who feel it, the students pick up on it, as well.
Well, it's time for me to get cookin'. TJ just called and he will be home soon. I need to have supper ready and served before he gets home.

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