The new school year is upon us. Whether you’re a veteran, newly hired, newly reassigned, it’s much like starting a race. There is a lot of hope that goes into the new academic year. Did students grow up over the weeks we didn’t see them? Were the students safe? What new wonder did the student uncover during the weeks we were apart? Will we get a long? Will I get along with the new teachers? How was your summer? What’s something you’d like to learn this year?
The beginning of the academic year is a fury of activity. For the first day, be as prepared as you can. Bring with you:
- A pen
- A pencil (with an eraser)
- A highlighter or a color pencil
- Notebook paper
Everything else, you can get later, but having these ready to go no matter how old your students are, you’ll be able to start supporting them right away.
How you support a student on the first day may vary. If you know nothing about a student, you may be reacting to the situations as they rise, and this can be very unsettling. By the third day, you’ll settle into a routine and can better anticipate changes as needed. And yes, sometimes what the general education teacher is going to need to come second or third as a student settles into routine. But it’s not the end of the world. We’re still all learning in those first few days and getting the buy in to return is a part of developing a professional relationship with a specific student, but also that class the student is a part member.
Be ready to participate in all the ice breaker activities, make a stab at getting to know the students’ names and start sifting through when you have a chance to look for peers that might be good allies for students you support. Hopefully the general education teacher has started doing so as well, but a second glance doesn’t hurt.
But on the second day, you’ll have changed. You’ll know that you don’t have to be reactive to every breath, but you’ll find other things that might catch your attention.
We mentioned earlier about developing a professional relationship with the students—bring a smile, something to laugh at. Remember a moment of humility as the things that students uncover for the first time matter to the student, even though you may have known it for years.
If you’re a veteran, spend some time with the newer hires and help them learn to navigate their return. It’s a marathon, don’t sprint, find a pace to keep you steady. Together you’ll find the way through the academic year.
Welcome back. It will be fine. (No, really it will be. We promise.) We’ll all learn together.
Just in case you didn’t know…
Since 2012, ParaEducate has been a resource for Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, and advocates for people with disabilities. We have provided a variety of information through our books, blog, and conferences. We are currently scheduled to be at AZ-Wins 2019 and have a few other conferences planned. We publish the blog weekly during the academic school year taking time off for holidays. Our primary focus is on the world surrounding paraeducators working with students with disabilities in K-12 inclusive settings. Feel free to contact us.
While we have you here…
So at this moment, for a second major review, our upcoming book is on temporary hold with the publisher. We should know in the next few days and be able to announce the finalized publication of “On the Shoulders of Giants: Selected Biographies of Scientists” included in this book are a series of introductory comprehension questions. Over forty scientists based in history cover the pages with their works contributing to the world of knowledge we have. Our vision for this book includes giving students with disabilities a spur in their connections to the material that their peers may be pursuing. The readings can help students with disabilities have information to provide their peers, even at a very basic level to contribute to class discussions or group projects. These figures of science have all given a variety of achievements and some successes are quiet while others changed the way everyone perceived the universe. We are very excited to share this book with you. And for the first time, a book will be available on an extended platform, look for our book being ready to go to libraries and traditional book stores.
Did you know?
Since 2012, ParaEducate has been a resource for Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, and advocates for people with disabilities. We have provided a variety of information through our books, blog, and conferences. We are connected to a variety of other special educators through #BetterTogether
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.