Monday, November 19, 2007

Let's figure it out..... AND Thank you!!

Our challenge is to meet every kid's needs. It's a puzzle, of course, an often overwhelming task that has serious and long term consequences.

Today, our staff will be meeting in grade level teams to figure out one key to one part of the puzzle..... how are we going to support those kids who are not reading on grade level? How will we get them where they need to be?

We'll be analyzing some data about DRA testing done at the end of last year. We'll be sorting out those kids who are in need of remediation. We'll be ascertaining where our instruction has been weak and needs tweaking. We'll be concentrating on making changes that impact kids' learning tomorrow, and the rest of this year.

I hate a useless meeting, but I'm thinking that this one will provide me with information and guidance that will improve my instruction. I hope so, at least.

I'll keep you posted.

Until then, enjoy this photo from Virginia Tech's ThanK the World event held this weekend on the drillfield in Blacksburg. My family and I participated, and it was a heartfelt expression of our gratitude to all who prayed for and supported us during the April shootings and beyond.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A note of appreciation!

Tomorrow we lead teachers are throwing a little breakfast for our fabulous instructional assistants. Bagels, donuts, juice, etc..... not elegant, but we hope it says what we mean: we are so lucky to have you as our teaching partners.

Instructional assistants work really, really hard in our special program. They teach groups of children, implement (and help create) complicated behavior management systems, provide therapeutic support to kids in crisis.... It's a lot more than running copies and cutting out art project templates.

So here's to our IAs. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to our kids! Thank you for being so dedicated and hard working!!!

Thank you for being you!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okay, so I've been remiss..... again

I guess it's normal to go through periods of neglecting one's bloglife. Still, I hate seeing that September was the last time I gave this my attention. So let me refocus my goals and set to work on this, my next new beginning...

I continue to struggle with creating a behavior plan to support one of my favorite darlings. As a team, we decided some visual cueing was in order, so I did that. We're concentrating even more on preventative strategies, and consistent consequences, etc. I'm working hard to keep our relationship "trustworthy", that is, a relationship where he really comes to believe that I mean what I say and say what I mean.

The daily tumult continues. Sometimes this is a very tiring job.

Thank goodness I really really like this child!! It does help that I care for him and his family, and I believe they are trying too. Their effort counts for alot when I have to get up everyday and try to sort out the best way(s) to support a child in so much turmoil.

This week we will continue to tweak and revamp in hopes that we find just the right equation. No time for complaining or backpeddling or throwing up our arms in frustration. We will get this right.... if not this week, then eventually. And if not eventually, we'll find a setting more suitable, more effective for this child.