This week, we took a lot of notes and compiled them. It’s the end of the year and everything needs to be bite sized because who has the time to read them all? It’s a busy time of year. But keep up!
Watching on the side
We have a rule we often give first. “Don’t sit with your student.”
Immediately we get all sorts of rebuttals, “But this student has [a health thing]…” and then “This student has [a behavior issue]…” we totally understand these situations. They do happen and they are legitimate reasons for not being too far away from specific students. But, even then, at this point in the year, a few steps away helps process are useful.
What should you look for?
- How the student works and interacts with peers.
- How the student starts (or does not start) work as directed by the classroom teacher
- If and when a student asks for help
All of these things are important to realize that a student may or may not be working their way to being independent. And that’s a good thing. However, it’s also important to realize that things during this time of year change due to the way a student handles stress. Knowing that a transition is coming up and a student will be changing campuses is also a big factor in a student’s ability to be flexible. Those events can be quite telling in the progress of a student over the year. Knowing a student for more than a year can also help highlight personality changes when it comes to facing disappointment or stress.
On the other side of things
Renay recently got to connect with some of her professional friends and discuss education as a whole. And for a few all too short hours, connecting and talking about life and education and the whole range of things going on in the world, Renay just had a moment to remind us that professional connections matter. And paraeducators, especially those who are solo on any given campus, might find things harder if they don’t have someone they can trust professionally. But they are there. Sometimes they are teachers, sometimes they are administrators, a few times they’ve even been the school secretary. Allies help make the work experience better. Life takes a lot of routes, at least as a campus, you can share those little chuckles and long groans.
But don’t blow everything off
It is the end of the year. Notices for deadlines for things are kind of important. When do you have to turn in your key, when are finals, which schedule is the school following on which day? Find an organization system or the semblance of organization that works.
Speaking of organization
Have you noticed that backpacks this time of year are starting to tip over your students? Have you noticed that homework should look like the dog ate it? (please let it be the dog and not the hamster!)
Did that last assignment get blown in the wind?
It’s time for the annual backpack evaluation!
Go through each student’s back pack with the student. Yes even if the student doesn’t care.
If it’s old, put it in a folder. If it’s still relevant or needs to be signed, get it to the top of the sludge. If it looks moldy, please put it in the trash. If it is all of the above, well…maybe it’s time to let it go and join the compost pile….
The note you know, but we’re going to write it down anyway…
Yes it is the end of the year. No it is not the last day of school. Every thing still matters. Your students still have to try their best every day. Lessons still need to be observed, work still needs to be graded, smiles are still to be had. It is all too easy for students to check out. Whatever it takes to keep the student engaged at this point in the year is important. But realize that breaks are important to, just not the lengthy breaks that involve disrupting everyone.
We have four blog posts left of the 2017-2018 academic school year. Which has been your favorite this year? Let us know!
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