A Year of Words – Day 54

While this week off has been AMAZING and relaxing and full of lots of books and doodles and coffee, I’m so ready to get back to my kiddos. I’m missed those little boogers!

School

(And yeah… It kinda looks like “Back to ScNool!”. I’m fine with that. 🙂 )

Gobble, Gobble!

It’s not Thanksgiving until your class make handprints turkeys 🙂

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How cute is that?! Each one of my kids made one, and they loved every minute of the messy fun! We also wrote journal entries (using picture cards, of course) to tell about what we are thankful for! Such a wonderful way to get ready for the holiday!

And the fun didn’t stop when I got home… more doodles! Please enjoy this free download of the “Gobble, Gobble!” print!!

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Veteran’s Day Activity for Special Education

I love holidays!

I also love allowing my babes to have access to learning about said holidays just like their peers. That’s really important to me. That my kiddos get to see, learn, and do the same things as their peers.

For those of you who may not know, I teach 4 beautiful children with severe intellectual disabilities. And they are perfect in every way. They may not speak or walk the way some children do, but they have so much love in their little hearts and they are the BEST at expressing that love. Yes, even without words.

So I try to give them the most exciting, engaging, and meaningful education possible while still meeting their physical and medical needs. That means that I hit all the same standards as my regular education colleagues. And when there aren’t materials readily available so that my kids can participate, I make them. I make a lot of materials.

Recently I’ve begun putting some of those things on Teachers Pay Teachers. My thought is this: If I can help just one special education teacher out there give their students some access to what their buddies in the general education classrooms are getting, I think I’ve done an okay job at being a special educator.

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So this week we’re learning all about veterans, Veteran’s Day, and how the U.S. armed forces serve and protect our country.

What an honor it is to teach.

Princess Teacher

Today was a weirdo day. First day back from break = Basically the first day of school. So from the start it was slightly different feeling. But then the real kicker… I had no students. None. Zero. My classroom was completely empty.

Weird.

But somehow it worked out as a HUGE blessing in disguise because I was able to spend the day in a class and a grade and with a group of kids that I never get to spend time with. And if I’ve learned one thing from teaching it’s that every new experience with children will teach you something.

Today I learned that I like being a “princess” teacher. What is a Princess Teacher, you ask? I believe it is a teacher with 3 qualities: 1. Patience. 2. Genuine interest. & 3. A little bit of silly.

Garden Hair 1       Garden Hair 2

  • Patience. With a room full of silly kids it can be hard to come by, but first and foremost I want every student I encounter, even the ones that I don’t instruct, to see me as someone that they can trust and that will listen to them. I feel like that only comes when they see that you’ll hear them out without losing your cool or getting distracted.
  • Genuine interest. Because every child WANTS to be heard and seen as an individual and seen as something special. Asking about their day in the midst of a crazy classroom shows that you care. And why not embed the things you already know they love into your teaching. I got to do this today with a little one that so badly wanted to share with me details of her trip to her aunt’s house over break. 5 minutes of math led to 1 minute of allowed storytelling that led to one giant hug and smile.
  • Finally… if the pictures above don’t tell you anything (other than my infatuation with letting little girls and boys place flowers in my messy hair… yes, today was the second Hair Garden. #flowersinhair #dontcare), I hope it speaks to the silly. When I was called Rapunzel today instead of Mrs. Collins, I wasn’t offended in the slightest, especially because it was only on the playground and the little girl’s expression was precious. I think that sometimes we get so caught up in standards and discipline and lesson planning that we forget that we are teaching CHILDREN. Obviously there has to be respect in a classroom, but there can also be a lot of love and a lot of fun!

While I probably get weird looks from other teachers because of the flowers in my hair, I just shake it off because 1. it’s all for the kids, and 2. I’m a princess 🙂