Renay wants to tell you first thing: the copy machine was already broken when she arrived in the copy room at 2:00pm exactly at the time when she was supposed to be checking out due for the pre-service day. So when the drawer to the copy machine refused to return on the lovely slides back into the machine that had been removed so the paper that had gotten jammed would stop getting jammed, it was pretty much a done deal. But there are some key elements no person wants to be caught doing especially on the first day of work.
But this little adventure even for a veteran like Renay reminds us that the funny things make boring topics so much better.
- Ask the freest secretary or person in charge of the copy room for a real training. You need to know where the machine jams, what information will tell you, how to put in your code, how to print to the copy machine, how to load the machine, and most importantly how many copies you may be allotted. We will say that special education sometimes gets a pass on the copies much to the jealously of other teachers or grades, but have you ever carried a 50 page IEP, because you know they do happen. And if you do get a jam, find out how to take care of it so you don’t leave someone else stranded.
- Meet with the library staff. Find out how to check out materials, when the library will be available for student use, find out what alternative materials may be in the library for use with students who are not able to access what their peers can.
- Find out where you can store your lunch. Of all the things that can help make or break a specific day, this is probably it. It’s probably also helpful to know if the school service dog is a counter surfer and will eat your sandwich… (We love you Frostytips… we wished you loved our food a tad less)
- Find out how your campus deals with absences that are planned. Do you have to tell the principal? Do you just tell the case manager? Do you tell everyone? Are you running around verbally confirming with everyone?
- What is the means of communication? Texting? Email? Loud speaker? How do we know what is up.
- What to do in the event of an emergency. Especially with those first days and students that you may not know about.
Choosing these activities when you know nothing else gives you a place to start. Finding someone to mentor you would be best, but this is a great place to begin.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? 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