What’s Working For Me!


As we all know, I am a new teacher. I have been looking for a blog/site where I could find out about what to expect, yet I have not been able to. I wanted to read something that really got into raw emotions- the nitty gritty. Necessity is always the mother of invention. That is why I have decided to put on my blog exactly what I have been going through- warts and all. I will also put up resources and my lesson plans so that someone who reads this in the future will have a good idea about what to expect during their first year so that they can go from Fairy Tale to Survival to Mastery to Impact in as little time as possible. So until next time!

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Who’s Your Hero? part 2


A while back, I wrote a post about one of my favorite shows from the 80’s, called “The Greatest American Hero”. I didn’t fully develop it the way that I wanted to. In it I talked about the plot of the show being about how aliens gave the star of the show, William Katt, a suit that endowed him with super powers. He could fly, he could become invisible, and do all kinds of amazing things. The only problem was that he lost the instruction manual. Even though he did eventually learn how to use it, he never reached his full potential. However, imagine how much more he could have done if he would have just had the instructions, or if someone would have given him instructions on how to make it easier.

greatest-american-hero.jpg I equate his situation to mine. I am now going into my 1st month of teaching without most of the tools and materials that I need to fully do the job. No training. No support. Yet, I am still meeting the standards even though I worry that I am just not doing a good enough job.

I wish that I had an instruction manual, which would be the equivalent of training in any of the programs that I need. So, with that- let me tell you who my hero is. My hero is someone who has been doing this line of work for years without complaining and ranting like me. Maybe with time I will just learn to accept the fact that I’m not going to get what I need and learn to be quiet about it. I am going to work on it right now, because all this bitching and moaning is not really getting me anywhere. I will keep it to a minimum, so let’s move on.

Until next time!

Special Education Meeting


Taken directly from L.A.U.S.D. website

Special Education Initiative: An informational meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, December 3rd for those considering a career in the field of Special Education in the Beaudry Bldg (333 S. Beaudry Ave, L.A., CA 90007). Topics will include the employment process, special education credentialing opportunities, as well as teaching special education in the District. Individuals with related experiences and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of special education students are invited to register for the meeting by contacting Doreen Mendoza at doreen.mendoza@lausd.net or Sherry Uribe at sherry.uribe@lausd.net

Today Was Aiiiight!


The day was aiiiight. Of course the students, one in particular, Lito, has been challenging me, I am rising to the challenge. I call their every bluff. If they say that they are going to walk out the classroom, I tell them what the consequences are for doing that. If they choose to do it anyway, then they suffer the consequences. I have to say that, even though I feel like an idiot sometimes, I didn’t feel like crying today. Now, yesterday was a different story. I had to keep myself from tearing up in the staff meeting. But just like today was a new day, so is tomorrow. Until next time!

Multiple Intelligences Works For My Students


Yesterday I posted about Multiple intelligences by Harvard professor Howard Gardner. I connected this to my lesson. Now I begin the day by letting my students use their artistic intelligence. I let them draw a picture of how they feel. I give them 15 minutes to draw a picture expressing how they feel. Afterwards they come to the front of the class and share. This satisfies art and a couple of other standards. This works really well since I am trying to foster a sense of family in the class. No one is allowed to make fun of anyone’s drawings. While the student is presenting their artwork, I make sure that everyone is giving that person their whole attention. Afterwards, I have them give the presenter a round of applause. I tell them that it is not easy to come out and put yourself out there.

I have found out so much about these students from their art. Especially from my student, Robin, who was always trying to shock me by drawing inappropriate pictures. When he first shared, he drew a picture, in heavy black marker, of three chickens drowning. He thought that I would be shocked but I just talked to him about it and pulled something positive out of it.

I asked him if the chickens could swim before they went into the pool. No was his reply.

“Well, was that smart for them to go in there (in the deep end) when they couldn’t swim?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Do you think they were sorry that they went in there?”

Yes.

“So, Robin,” I said, “what you are saying is that they made a bad decision and they wish they wouldn’t have.”

Are you also saying that you made a bad decision when you first came into the classroom and misbehaved and now you’re sorry?

Okay, I accept your apology. Thank you Robin. Everyone give Robin a hand. Thank you for sharing. That wasn’t easy.

I don’t know how I pulled that information out of there but I did. I’m happy that I did because that’s actually what he was trying to tell me.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner


On my first couple of days at teaching, I introduced my students to multiple intelligences to let them know that there are different ways to learn. I let them know that some of them learn by touching (i.e., manipulatives), while some of them learn by hearing (direct instruction), while still others learn by seeing (visually).

multiple-intelligences-graphic.gif

I also told them about learning through music and art. I told them about teaching Phillise our phone number by singing it. It is a theory developed by psychologist Howard Gardner, that describes an array of different kinds of “intelligences” exhibited by human beings. Gardner suggests that each individual manifests varying levels of these different intelligences, and thus each person has a unique “cognitive profile.” The theory was first laid out in Gardner’s 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and has been further refined in subsequent years.

Here are the categories:

  • Bodily-Kinesthetic- Good with movement. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include athletes, dancers, actors, builders and artisans.
  • Interpersonal- Good with people. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include politicians, managers, teachers, social workers and diplomats.
  • Linguistic- Good with languages. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include writers, lawyers, philosophers, politicians and teachers.
  • Logical-Mathematical- Good with math. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and economists.
  • Naturalistic- Good with things concerning nature. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include scientists, naturalists, conservationists, gardeners and farmers.
  • Intrapersonal- Good with knowing self. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include philosophers, psychologists, theologians, writers and scientists.
  • Spatial- Careers which suit those with this intelligence include artists, engineers, and architects.
  • Musical- Good with music. Careers which suit those with this intelligence include musicians, singers, conductors, and composers.
  • Other intelligences- Good with asking and/or questioning spiritual things. Other intelligences have been suggested or explored by Gardner and his colleagues, including spiritual, existential and moral intelligence.

I was trying to sum this information, but it is such good information that I really didn’t feel I could do this justice, so here is the Wikipedia link if you would like to read more about it: http://en.wikipedia.org


Thank Goodness For Small Favors!


This post is about one of my students, we’ll call him Toolie, you know the one who called me a garden ho1.jpgtool (ho) and a female dog (You know what that is, don’t you?). Well, he lives less than a block from the school, so I have been going down there every Friday. Last Friday his dad wasn’t there. He was in the hospital, so I talked to his uncle. His uncle got on him right then and there. I thought that when he came back to school on Monday that his behavior would be better. Nope! Nothing changed. It was the same ole’ same ole’. In fact, he got started before we even came in the class and it lasted all day. I was so tired and drained that day that I had to come home and take a 2 hour nap.

I found out from my mentor that I could refuse to let him in the classroom. So, on Tuesday, I refused to admit him to class because I knew that it would just be a repeat of the day before. He took a walk with one of my assistants and came back slightly, I mean just slightly, less agitated.

It was still a pretty draining day, just not like the day before. I know that it’s taking me a long time to get to what I’m thankful for, but I had to bring you up to date. I couldn’t just start in the middle :).

Anyway, I went down to his house and talked to his father. His father gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him anytime he just up and leaves the classroom. He told me that he would come up there and take care of him personally. That is what I’m thankful for- that his father says that he’s going to help me manage this child’s behavior.