Monday, December 19, 2005

Special or Regular?

Education that is. I've taught in Special Education(SpEd) for 8 years and just this year I moved to Regular Education(RegEd). All I did was take a Generalist 4-8 test and I was good to go. Right now I am really enjoying the "newness" of RegEd, especially at the Holiday Season time. First of all I am now getting gifts. In the past I've really not gotten anything other than a $5 card to Starbucks, but I don't drink coffee(regifted). Last week I got a nice ceramic Santa coffee mug(regift to mom) and a card. A coworker made me some cookies. Today I got a $10 giftcard to Sonic and $5 for a bread company/bakery-Panera. I also got a fleece sports themed blanked. I still have 2 more days. Second, I actually have some girl students. It seems that 95% of behavior students are boys and that is what I taught the last 3 years. There is even a heavy tilt towards males in SpEd when it comes to learning disabilities. Girls must cope better and not get referred. Another thing I get everyday is a 45 minute planning time. In my behavior class I rarely got this "State Law" requirement.

So far this year I am not aware of any major parental complaints about me. I'm sure my colleagues could find a few things I'm not doing so well, but I think overall I've performed as well as expected, if not better. I'm still learning some things on the curve: when to send things home, how to manage girly clicks, how to avoid hugs by female students, how to write good lesson plans, etc.

I have gotten a few letters/emails of appreciation from parents and that means a lot to me. You can't always measure success by how well a student takes a test. When a parent says, "thanks for spending time with Fletch, he's really enjoying your class..." it means a lot. Especially when teachers from the prior year warn you about the student and his parents.

Speaking of testing: nothing like your smartest student making a 70% on an assessment and one of your lower students making a 75%. I praise the 75 and scorn the 70. Our 2 lowest students actually combined for a score of over 100. Now that's progress, but not according to state standards. Beats the 88 they combined for the first 9 weeks.

Last note: My colleague says this is the worst group of students she has every had. That said, I'm really looking forward to upcoming years because I am having tons of fun.

15 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wondering about those boys and girls? Read Leonard Sax's book Why Gender Matters, it's a fantasic read.

Pigs said...

Wooooo hooooo! What a trooper you are. Next year really will be better. And you ain't seen nothin' yet on the gifts. Now write those thank you notes!

KauaiMark said...

Merry Christmas to you and next door neighbor pigs...

...Mark

The MAN Fan Club said...

I'm not much of a reader. Is there a Cliff Notes printed for that book?

Boys do fill the stereotype as aggressive. We've had a lot of tackling, hitting, and horseplay this year.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to pigs: Thanks for being my mentor. Just think, next year I'll not have any excuses and you won't have to remind me of EDay, notes, duties, etc. I do appreciate no duties on Friday as I am the lunch coordinator.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to mark: Thanks. Enjoy our time off!

txgrl said...

I got a $50 gift card to Banana Republic....nice, huh? :) I love my new school!!

Pigs said...

Lunch coordinator is a very important job, you know. Not just anyone on our team could handle it with such grace and bargains...

Deanna said...

Sounds like you picked the right career path. You sound like a really nice teacher who really enjoys his job no matter what life throws at you. Good for you!

Wiccachicky said...

Oh! Your students are so nice! I got a couple cards this year and they made my day. I'm also with you on progress - so often I am prouder of my C students who shoot for a B and make it than the ones I know can get A's but choose not to/slack off to the point they can't.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to txgrl: Are you sure it didn't say $5. I looked at my Sonic card today that I got and it looked like $110, but the balance was actually $10. It didn't last long.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to PIGS: I know which kids meals are the best bargains and I'm not afraid to break that 12 and over rule. I'm dangerous!

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to Deanna: Yes, I'm really liking it! I think I'm good at it. Not in a conceded way, but I really feel I'm a relationship builder.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to wiccachicky: Yes, nothing like being proud of a student who went from a 38% to a 50% second time around. We're having pizza for this student tomorrow. Celebrating a 50!

txgrl said...

I think it's completly ok to celebrate a low grade with astudent who has done better than before. i make big deals over ant kind of improvement ike that. have you read that Ron Clark book, 55 essential rules? You should read that when you get a chance, its a quick read.

And yes, it was a $50 gift card. insane. I love her, but insane.