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!