Monday, October 09, 2006

MEETING our needs.....

Here are some things that don't happen everyday:

Our adminstrators CANCELLED A MEETING because it wasn't necessary...
made optional a series of staff developments after paying attention to the evaluations filled out at the first one!

They are smart. We really are meeting-ed out.

Last week I showed up to a mentor-mentee meeting about 15 minutes late, and everyone had gone by then. The empathetic, on-the-ball lead mentor had assessed the situation, acknowledged that what everyone really needed in order to do a good job was TIME. You know, time NOT spent in a meeting.

I, of course, was late because I WAS IN ANOTHER MEETING!!!

My AP and I were talking about ways to improve our school based child assessment team process, and when we looked to the calendar to schedule a meeting with the various members, it hit us again. We just don't have time not already scheduled by other committees and teams.

There is a very good reason for this. That will be the subject of my next installment. In the meantime, I'm off to create the agenda for our next ED team meeting!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Welcome kid # 6!!

On the occasion of my new kid’s very first day, we organized some changes in our classroom routines (in order to meet his special needs). He’s a very young kinder, a child who found nothing but frustration in the general ed setting… and with his identified disabilities, how could he not? There were 19 kids, lots of fun activities--- translate to stimulation---, general ed routines and behavior program (ie, not super structured) . It just wasn’t appropriate for him.

Even within our specialized setting, our routines and expectations had to be tweaked. For example, reduced work requirements are a must for now. He doesn’t go to the cafeteria or loud assesmblies; we only play outside in the fenced in areas because of his tendency to “elope”. We hold tight to his hand in the hall, and change our walking route.

He resisted doing paper and pencil work, but later in the day wrote his name with great concentration. So this morning, at journal writing,when he began to balk, I said today’s job was to just write his name neatly. He seemed to feel comfortable with this direction, and took his time crafting it nicely on the lines. He left his work area feeling successful—as evidenced by his demeanor, relaxed voice, and kind words to classmate.

Tomorrow, we’ll complete his journal with a nod to name writing and then perhaps using the tracing cards to do something more. A step at a time, and no more, will be key helping him succeed. By late fall, I’m hoping he’ll be at a place where he’ll approach the empty page of his journal without trepidation! 

I can dream, can’t I?