Sunday, September 16, 2012
Who is That?!?
Yes, I'm working my fingers to the bone...along with every other teacher I know...September is the month of 80 hour work weeks and very little sleep. However, it will all pay off in time. After some great Professional Development in August I decided to change my classroom into a Structured Learning Environment. It's quite the undertaking but my principal has been good enough to give me two days or release time plus I had some help from two of my EAs and our board's autism expert. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the results will be more responsible and independent students. I hope.
I really enjoy this creative type of work. Here's an example of a task strip for a student to follow when washing hands:
So other than work I've been a very dull girl. No going out, not even to a movie, falling asleep around 9:30pm every night. I'm not complaining though. I'm a true believer of the Structured Learning program and want to do whatever it takes to get it up and running. Tomorrow will be a test drive. The student who had me in a headlock a couple of times is back tomorrow and we will be training him to follow a picture schedule. We also have a new boy starting this week and I am in the process of getting his picture schedule ready too.
Unfortunately I lost a student - she is currently in a psych ward where she was placed after attacking her mother several times this summer. She has autism and is smart as a whip - much smarter than either of her parents - at school she had earned one or two math credits every semester. At school we were able to control her behavior with an incentive program but at home she is in control. It's a tough situation as there are few, if any, group homes where she would be a good fit unless highly medicated.
Actually I lost two students. My "broken angel" has moved on to the public board but I'm not sure if he's begun school yet as I heard from one of his workers that he had a very difficult summer and instead of being 2:1 (two workers with him at all times) he is now 3:1. There is definitely a need for a very specialized program for these youngsters but presently none exists in either public or Catholic school boards. I read over the summer about a family in British Columbia sending their autistic child to school in Oregon in the U.S. as there was nothing available in the province.
Looking on the bright side...Michael is busy making a farmer's breakfast - whole grain toast, eggs and bacon - yum yum yum! And tonight we are actually going out for dinner to celebrate all the September birthdays in our family. My Kazi is now 22! The wonderful aromas from the kitchen are calling my name so I'm off now to indulge :)