Thursday, July 10, 2014

Introducing myself, a special educator from Ohio!

I'm joining up with Tales of a Carolina Girl for the Get to Know a Special Education Teacher. I love reading how others set up their classrooms and deal with various situations, makes me think I'm not so alone in this!

I currently teach 3rd and 4th grade students with emotional and behavior disorders in a self-contained, separate facility. My goal is to get them back to their home school! My school has 6 teachers that serve students from kindergarten to grade 12 from all over Wood County and some of the surrounding area schools. We are unique in that we are located in a children's mental health agency and have therapists and behavior specialists coming into our room for different students and therapy groups. 

My advice is to always have a back up plan. So many times, my lessons don't work because of a melt down, interruption, lack of time, or simply the blank stares from my students so I have learned to switch it up and try a different tactic. Sometimes I give them a brain break or if I'm trying to use partner groupings, I might have them work alone to prevent those meltdowns! I've even told my class that I can tell the lesson isn't working and that I'll change it up overnight and try again tomorrow. I feel it's important for them to see that I make mistakes and that I can handle it without throwing a tantrum!

I also teach every procedure in my classroom. I start on day 1 with the classroom rules. Last year I implemented the Whole Brain rules and my students loved them. We talk about why the rules and procedures are important, how it will look and sound like, we role play the procedures for time outs, entering the room, safety drills (fire, tornado, and intruder), needing help, etc. We go over these everyday for about the first 2 weeks and then review them once or twice a week after that. I especially go over how to walk in the hallways to lunch and the rules of the lunchroom before going to lunch!

I hope that this little post helps someone, I know that I've come across a lot of good advice and new special ed. bloggers with this link up!


A Peach for the Teach said...

Hey, Mary! I found you through the blog hop. Fun to find another special ed teacher! Your advice about procedures is so true!

Jamie Michael said...
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Jamie Michael said...

Yay for another ED teacher!! Thank you for your advice. I was debating on using Whole Brain teaching with my students this year or not. Thanks again for linking up!

Tales of a Carolina Girl

Erin Hagey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Misty (Snowlady) said...

We do need to be flexible - sometimes things just don't work for one reason or another. Great reminder!
Little Room Under the Stairs

Tasha Whitt said...

I have a very high respect for what you do. I have had a couple of students that were required to go to a behavior school. One came back at the end of the year and the other one will be back in the fall. I am glad to have you as a resource to help me manage the children who struggle emotionally.

A Tender Teacher for Special Needs

SENCO Cat Herder said...

Totally agree that to err is human and children should see that we all can make mistakes! Lovely to meet you via the blog hop linky :-)
Special Teaching at Pempi's Palace

cheesehead - a.k.a. Brandy said...

I ran into your blog on a link up. My interest was piqued even further when your information sounded a lot like mine. I am also an ED teacher working in a separate facility working towards getting kids back into their home districts. I work with 5th grade and up. I laughed a lot when I read you were in Wood county. If it's the Wood county I know, I am a bit southwest of your in Waupaca county. What a small world. ;)

cheesehead - a.k.a. Brandy said...

Oops, don't ask HOW I missed the Ohio part, so we are not in the same state. Lots of coincidences still. ;)