We dragged our feet on finishing this blog post. It’s our last one for the 2015-2016 academic year. It’s reliably warm outside on the West Coast. Even the cold snap we had parts of last week haven’t dampened the students’ excitement. Ten days and counting. Less for some districts. Perhaps that’s why our students don’t want to do anything academic. But as much as the distractions of the world are permeating into the classroom, there are still things that require our attention.
While the gauntlet of finals, final projects, text book turn ins, field days, special assemblies, teaching students how to sign year books, teaching students to say ‘good-bye’, teaching students about their next year’s campus, reaching those last milestones, and doing all the normal parts of your job is difficult.
We’ve had a full year at ParaEducate looking at behaviors, paraeducator professionalism, and tips for working with students with disabilities. We’ve traveled, we’ve been a public voice, and we’ve trained. Over the summer we’re working on three to four books. If we get to publishing them this year, we’ll let you know in our summer blog. (Keep checking social media and our blog because it’s an unplanned blog entry!)
Students have surprised us with great things and then some not so great things. We’ve seen a year and grown from that experience. We’ve seen general education teachers learn from the students and the classes they’ve had with students included and grown from that experience and learn how to adapt their assignments. We’ve also learned a lot from teachers who are not as flexible with students with disabilities, from classmates who have needed some introduction to students with disabilities.
And then while you were out on the class picnic, a student was asked to join in the Frisbee game with some of the students without prompting. The students are eagerly talking about their summer plans and when a student offered that he was going to a camp for students with his disability, all the kids in the class wanted to know what that sort of camp was like because they were heading to different camps. All of these things you’ve been able to see because you’ve been invisible and visible.
So before you leave for the year, check for phone numbers you may need from co-workers, make plans to meet up for coffee, thank a co-worker who made your day a little brighter, and say good-bye to your students who are graduating. Know that the work you’ve put in this year has paid off. Stay safe and enjoy your time off.
Whether you stay with your campus, transfer to another campus, or leave paraeducating behind for other career opportunities, ParaEducate plans to return to blogging for the 2016-2017 academic year August 18, 2016.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? ParaEducate returns for 2016-2017 on August 18. Look for our annual summer blog! Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.