I am NOT a Morning Person

My experiences with teaching

better late than never April 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — clairetyler7789 @ 5:09 pm

Things have been out of control crazy this semester. I set out to be the ultimate blogger in no time but my little blog has taken a back seat to all other assignments and portfolios. These last three weeks might be the death of me.

But on a lighter note my cooperating teacher told me last week that I have turned a corner in my teaching. That is the compliment of all compliments! I finally have gotten my tier 3 kindergarten under control and they do not treat me like the sub any more. They listen and pay attention and are following directions so well. In their general ed classroom they have an intern and they all love to give her the hardest time. One of the little boys defies her everyday and he was doing the same to me until I put my foot down. He now listens and does what I tell him too, with a little back talk but none-the-less he does it.

Today I came up with a new idea. After watching the severe teacher draw pictures for her tier 3 class I thought I might try the same thing. I drew everyone’s name on the table and when they answered correctly I decorated their name and made it pretty and bold so that they could show each other and my cooperating teacher. They loved it and did whatever I asked so that I would decorate their name and make it pretty. The little girl in the group is quite the complainer but today she was all smiles and correct answers. Today was a good day. I am being observed on Thursday by my advisor for the final time and I hope things go as well as they did today. I kind of wish today had been Thursday but I am praying that it goes as well. Hopefully I can think of something creative by then!

WISH ME LUCK! I will write again soon! Enjoy the weather 🙂

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Moooooooo March 22, 2011

Filed under: My little friends — clairetyler7789 @ 7:23 pm

My schedule is busy but I am taking these couple of spare minutes (while sitting in class) to work on my little blog project. I know my diligent followers (aka all three of you) will be very excited about the update. Getting up this morning to go to practicum was extremely hard after a week off for Spring Break. I literally hit my alarm 16 times, which I believe is a new record for me. But I made it and it was a very low key day. A nice way to ease back in.. I was told that I am not as fun as my practicum teacher (Mrs. C) and as much as that stung it gives me something to work on. I want to be fun too!! And Chloe had on a giraffe outfit with giraffe leggings, shirt with giraffe head, matching brown boy, and light up keds (I died.. Mom if you’re reading this, I need this outfit mailed to me immediately!).

Outside of going to class, writing papers, trying to work out, and do a lot of homework, I am working on a thematic unit for my practicum and I am a little obsessed with it at this point. Like I have two tests and a paper due next week and this is not due until April but I find myself working on it constantly to perfect it and make it fun (this could be a problem…)! A thematic unit for those of you non-education majors is basically a whole unit or lots of lessons, songs, and art projects all based on one topic. I chose a Farm unit because I am from the south and I am making mine for Kindergarten age children, I mean who doesn’t like farm animals? (other people chose the ocean, Dr. Seuss, and for older kids multiplication can even be put into a thematic unit- not nearly as cool as the farm though!)

I have to have songs and art projects and lesson plans for the farm and put it all together into lesson plans.. If anyone has any ideas for this let me know! Anything would be greatly appreciated.

I made a little playlist of songs that make me happy (if you click on it, it should play)

This playlists is the start for next topic which is a little more personal. Auburn has been touched by several tragedies lately and both have seemed to touch my group of friends, so needless to say this week has been a tough one. The songs I put on my playlist are those that are pick me ups (and also ones that I can sing at the top of my lungs) and have gotten me through tough and anxious times before. I have been praying extra hard for those that have been put through hell this week with the loss of Jessica and Mary Beth. I think its times like this that only make us stronger and we truly find out who our true friends are and who we can lean on in times of need. I hope that everyday is comparatively better than the last and that we really understand that we cannot take one single moment for granted. I love you all and more to come later. Maybe even some pictures if I can figure this all out 🙂

 

Enough is Enough March 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — clairetyler7789 @ 1:15 am

So I have literally written six different drafts all with really witty headings and put them to the side so I can work on them “later”. But I havent… and I wont. Sooo while riding home from a wonderful weekend at home Whit asks me, “Why havent you blogged in a while?” I was flustered and just knew it was a matter of time before someone asked of why my attempt at blogging had been so short but knew I needed to redeem myself. He made a suggestion to maybe not make them as long and just say what’s on my mind and just in general how things have been going. (he’s so smart)

Things have been going thats for sure. That is one reason why I have not taken the time to do this. The other reason is that every time I sit down to write I get overwhelmed by the amount of things I have learned and not being a writer it is hard to put into words what I have learned thus far. I have taken on more responsibilities every week and you know what? I am kind of good at teaching. (thank the good lord above, for me and my parent’s moneys sake) I have also seen the absolute roller coaster that is what makes up Special Education in general. One day we are happy and smiling and participating and the next we have to watch out for the “swings” (who knew self-defense class would actually come in handy) and losing a body part from temper tantrums. Patience is the key to all of it. And I need more of that for sure. The other day my practicum teacher said, “Honey, if you didn’t believe in Jesus before you better get on your knees today and start praying.” As comforting as that is I am glad that I do have my faith and someone to be therefore me through the ups and the downs and to give me more patience.

I promised I wouldn’t write personal life things but I lied because this needs to be said. I have been really working lately to not sweat the small stuff. This has proved difficult for me because I am a worrier as said before and micromanaging is what I do best. But to be in this profession you have to be flexible and able to change plans and go with the flow. This freaks me out a little (because I am my fathers child who is a man with a plan) and sometimes it is hard for me to let go and step back when things arent going my way. But you know what? Tomorrow is a new day. And I am going to try that much harder to not plan the things I cannot control. I am going to do what I am supposed to and if things don’t go my way (but I always secretly pray they will) I will TRY to not stress and hyperventilate. And to my future children, I am sorry for I will be a helicopter mom that will constantly hover and stress and plan for you. My mother was that way and the apple does not fall far from the tree at all. Thanks mom for all those times you hovered and went above and beyond the call of duty, you made me who I am and I appreciate it even if I dont say it enough.

 

Testing Fridays and Chloe January 28, 2011

Filed under: My little friends — clairetyler7789 @ 6:30 pm

On Fridays, as I learned today, we are much more stationary and do testing all day. In the mornings we still go to Mrs. W’s class to work with Brandon and Gage a little bit too. Like I said before Mrs. W is very organized and does the “daily 5” and other teachers even come to observe how well behaved her class is and how they stay on task (as Kindergardeners). After we helped here we go back to Mrs. C’s room and prepared for our first group (Chloe and Unique). I went to go get the two girls and they led me back through the maze of hallways while Chloe’s shoes lit up the whole way back! We got our hand sanitizer and then all took our seats around Mrs. C. The reason the two girls come in here for their tests is because of the accommodations and modifications that each of them need to achieve in school.

** Mrs. C talked to me today about how grades are not everything to these children but that some of their parents are still so worried about them. (I personally think that learning the every day stuff and some basic knowledge is the best plan of action but thats just me) There is so much in their brains but trying to put that into words or on the paper in front of them proves difficult most days. Chloe and Unique both are very bright girls and when they are given the help they need do very well on their assignments but that doesn’t mean that we don’t repeat to them seven times what the paper is asking for. Repetition is any educators best friend, well that and of course a whole bunch of patience. I think the reason it is so easy to get upset is because you know the abilities that these exceptional children have and yet they can’t communicate it to you, not even for all the Cheezits in the box.**

Mrs. C reads aloud to both girls with a divider in between while they fill out their test. She prompts them to sound out each answer but does not read anything but the question and point to the pictures that correspond. Chloe’s test is printed larger so that she can actually read it and it’s easier to bubble in. Unique is not allowed to shout out the answer, even though she does all 98.9 % of the time. I find it amusing this first day but I can see the frustration rise in Mrs. C’s face.

Now let me segment into my first little friend, Chloe. First of all, she is precious. Chloe had on light up shoes today, if that alone doesn’t make you smile then stop reading now. Chloe is very literal, she says what she means and she means what she says. For example, during the test Chloe asks about every five minutes, “Chloe Play?” noooo Chloe, test first, then play is always the answer she receives. She then says, “Chloe Play? Don’t Ask” and this phrase kind of threw me, don’t ask about what? It means she knows not to ask to play during her test but she is going to anyways and then answer herself all at the same time, so like I know I shouldn’t ask to play but I’m going to anyways. This made me smile every time, I just couldn’t help it, she was so sweet about it, not demanding like very many five year olds can be. Chloe is also verrrryyyy helpful to Unique because when Unique says anything bad or gets out of her chair Chloe points and says, “YOUR MOMMA!” which means Unique’s mother will spank her if she doesn’t behave. Back to the very literal thinking of this precious little girl… Chloe has worn her shirt backwards everyday this week and finally asked Mrs. C about it (because what mother wouldn’t help their daughter with her shirt issues). Mrs. C informed me, Chloe wears her shirt backwards because all her little dress/tunic shirts have pockets on the front of them and one of the techniques that the teachers use to get the children to stay in the chairs is “pockets kiss the chair” so Chloe’s pockets are on the front of her shirt so she wears them backwards so that they kiss the chair. This was the sweetest thing ever to me that she was doing just what she was told because her leggings do not have pockets but her shirts do. Lastly, Chloe likes to announce her every bowel movement and it is very hard not laugh when she says, “Chloe Poop”. She is telling us she has go to the bathroom just like any other five year old would but her way is a little more blunt. (Whit said that he wished he could announce it like that and asked him to please refrain for my sake and those around us) Chloe used that little smile and humor of hers to weasel her way into my blog and it worked.

Sooooo Fridays. They are different and little more stationary but much more stressful trying to squeeze all those tests in. Please comment and tell me what you think of Chloe, ask questions, and also tell me what you think I should do for my bulletin board project (I have to decorate the room a little bit; I will try to put up pictures)!!!

 

Well.. this is new

Filed under: School Intro — clairetyler7789 @ 4:23 am

Please read the about me so you don’t think this first post it too random.. Lets jump right in,I actually started two days ago with my Practicum so this day will be more of an intro and catch up day. I am in an inclusion classroom. This basically means that the teacher I have been placed with runs all over the school everyday except for lunch and a ten minute planning period. She brings students to her room, goes to their room to help them, brings them back to hers, goes back to theirs, and then she spins around and does cartwheels down the hallways, or thats what it feels like as I run behind her in my teacher attire (flats are not meant to run, just saying). She also does not have time to talk to me during the day so these sprints are where she answers my questions and tells me tidbits about the children she works with and other random facts and stories. I enjoy these runs and really feel like I am getting in shape while trying to remember what the heck the name of that thing that I read that one time in that one book that I need to know right now to contribute something intelligent to this very rapid conversation. You get the picture, its fast paced.

I have basically met all the children that I will work with over the next semester in the last two days. The disabilities range in severeness and each is very unique. And the saying, “kids say the darndest things” is the epitome of my observation thus far.

In the mornings we pick up Mike before school starts and take him to the classroom. The very first morning after sitting in the office and waiting to be picked up, I truly had flashbacks to the car rider line in elementary school, we walked through the halls and a child yelled out, “MRS C! THERE BE A ROACH IN DIS BACKPACK!” I was caught off guard to say the least and instead of her ignoring, saying thats nice or just passing it off to someone else she picked up the backpack and said, “Ill be right back..” I watched as she took the backpack from the random student and came back a minute later grinning. “MRS C! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HIM??” “He has gone to heaven. Have a good day.” It was quite a little scene to watch. She then walked with me and began to ask my hometown, etc like nothing had just happened. So we finally zig-zag through the halls, that have no rhyme or reason to them and Mrs. C works on his writing with him and he tries to get as much in as possible in about twenty minutes. It is kind of stressful because it is the only time she has to squeeze him in and he is really struggling with sentence making, punctuation, and spelling. He also likes to tell us stories about his parents, not being able to sleep, and his pets.. He loves Mrs. C. We listen to the announcements, say the pledge, have a moment of silence, you know the drill.. And then Mike goes to PE.

Mrs. W’s class is next and she is very intense. She even referred to herself as a drill sergeant. We actually go to her room and work with a little boy on reading, math, and two part directions. She is a kindergarten teacher and we are there during an activity called “the daily 5” where you read, write, work on phonics, and work with partners. This seems to fly by and nothing out of the blue has really happened in this classroom. But I am very impressed with her very regimented teaching abilities. Then its back to Mrs. C’s room for some more reading and phonics but on the way we make a pit stop to pick up two angels, Unique and Chloe. (I know this is a lot for the first entry but I am catching everyone up so I can just tell stories and experiences the other days) Tay and Jad come from another classroom and Mrs. R and M. come to help too. Tay is everyone’s entertainment. She is very spirited and opinionated (aka stubborn). Mrs. R and Mrs. C have very different ways of dealing with these behaviors. Jad takes meds that make him sleepy and if you are not paying attention he will fall asleep quickly, while smiling, and it is kind of precious. Chloe is very sweet and is not very talkative but is always dressed in her leggings, boots, and cute top and of course bow and glasses (she loves fruitloops). And last but certainly not least, Unique, who is always fashionable in her three-headbands. She is a talker and likes to play footsie. I like to watch how they break down the phonic sounds in each word (turns out Dr. Darch’s class is really important). This is thirty minutes of high-frequency words, review, breaking down, funny outburst by Tayl, and edibles (fruitloops and cheezits) and verbal praise. This is where most of my stories have come from but I’ll save them for the next blog so as not to overwhelm my diligent readers.

After this we return Unique and Chloe and were off to Mrs. P’s room to see our friend, Ray. Mrs. P is a second grade teacher whom we help with centers (you remember where you rotate to working with books, computers, worksheets, etc) and Ray is struggling with writing. We pull him off to the side and write about what he got for Christmas. After Ray finishes his few sentences we go back to Mrs. C’s room (see what I mean about back and forth?) to see my friends Chloe, Tay, and Jadar again for more reading and phonics. More working and snacks and then we get another group from Mrs. W’s class (kindergarten), Gage and Niema. Gage is so sweet and dresses very “fratty” with his loafers and collared shirts. We work on building sentences, reading difficult words, and phonics. They also get little snacks for staying on task and answering correctly. I wish I got fruitloops for daily achievements!

After they finish up it’s time for me to head out so I can make it to my favorite class ever, Ethics. We are discussing the meaning of life and to help us understand our very amusing teacher asked, “It’s like trying to answer ‘what is water?’ you really can’t” actually you can, but instead of saying that I sit quietly i the back wondering why this class is a requirement at Auburn. No barner jokes necessary for that thought. Alright well now I have run you through pretty much what my mornings consist of. Feel up to par? Anyone up for taking my daily jog through the school with me? It really has been great just being there thus far and I hope it continues to be a positive experience for all involved. More to come but this has taken me way longer than expected so for now so long folks.