The Road to the End (of the Year)

We’re back! You might have thought we were taking a vacation. But that’s not what spring break really gives us a chance to do.

First, we released two new items on our Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Because both of these items centered around a specific theme, we created a bundle to sell if folks are interested. The items range for students of different abilities, so some may be more appropriate on some years than others.

And then we alluded to this before we left, but we really got going while we were gone. We started a new project: Inclusion From Square One. It’s not about resources, it’s about helping folks find the answers to “How”. How is inclusion possible? How do teachers…? How do families…? How do students…? All of those How pieces that are part of larger inclusion questions broken down to help groups navigate to an inclusive or even more inclusive education setting. The posts are up with Renay and Nicole Eredics’, The Inclusive Class, more are coming this month including Amanda Morin. There are plans for the future of Inclusion From Square One

Spring Dynamics

Spring provides some different issues at schools. The weather is changing. And no matter the age of the students, students know the air has changed. Unless you’re currently in the section of the United States that is experiencing the revisit of snow, the season of Spring really does affect the students.

Allergies make some students miserable. Some students seem to have lost their self control. Other students who just have found their comfort level in your class fall back on old patterns and are silent or repeatedly absent.

Add into this complex mess of issues with facing standardized testing, more outdoor sports, large projects, and unusual trip schedules and there is a pretty good chance that it may just seem you think you will lose your mind.

Add into this complex mess of issues with facing standardized testing, more outdoor sports, large projects, and unusual trip schedules and there is a pretty good chance that it may just seem you think you will lose your mind.

  • Remember why days are long to young folks. It isn’t just because their families are possibly cramming in a lot of things. They just don’t have as many memories associated with the way things fill time. This is their first foray. You’ve been hurdling over projects with students for possibly a while now and they’re just learning how to get over them.
  • For the student whose executive functioning may not be where their peers are, remember to be direct with instructions. One instruction at a time. It can be complex if you’re running three or four students at a time doing different or even parallel activities, but making a check list for yourself while you give single step instructions is even useful.
  • Find ways to connect with quieter students. While we really don’t insist on the eye contact rule many teachers have, try and check in and see how they are attempting to work on that poem, get at their level, speak in whispers to the student. Drawing large crowds of attention drains some of these students. Realizing that some of these students have seven or eight separate adult contacts a day can also drain the student. Let the student know that you see them, but let them have their space.
  • Return and review the classroom rules with all students. Make this a regular occurrence. Remind students of the choices they make have consequences. Some consequences can be ‘small’, being admonished by an adult. Some consequences can be ‘big’, a report card that is less than what the student wanted or a loss of sports eligibility.
  • Tissues now more than even during flu season. And if you can swing it, hand sanitizer too. While it is not possible to get allergies from a classmate, encouraging basic hygiene is pretty important.

Spring feels joyful in all the types of celebrations that occur, no matter the reason. It is a renewal, a promise of hope. Education is a hope for many students. Being the stabilizing rudder for students to learn from their mistakes and learn to self-advocate. Build on what you’ve cultivated all year.

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 herehereherehere,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.

About paraeducate

ParaEducate is a company run to help reach out to paraeducators or paraprofessionals in public K-12 schools, giving advice, talking about publications that ParaEducate produces, and other useful information regarding working in public school settings.
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