The middle months of the school year can lull one into a false sense of complacency. And then suddenly there are a series of behaviors you haven’t seen since September. And you will have to repeat all the systems you had in place earlier, not just because of what you did but because the student still needs to know that this is the expectation.
But the middle of the school year is also for something else: it’s for a series of small breaks. As complex as Monday on a Tuesday can be, having Monday off is sometimes just enough to get you through the tough things. But a day off from school is useful for something else, connecting with coworkers socially.
We realize the majority of you all know at this point that Renay is not usually going to put ‘socializing’ at the top of her list. And most people have better things on a three day weekend, especially a three day weekend in February. However, meeting up for coffee off campus to talk about life, the Universe, and Everything, is not a bad thing. (Yes, we did just quote Douglas Adams). That book reading that is going on in a class, how the students are approaching the projects. That challenge of writing shows all the students that things are possible if they try a little bit. Develop that supportive team for not just professional life but social life and things can look much different and you know in the hall, when you have a student screaming, that head that pops out and asks if you are all right, might be that social connection you made.
But more than just a few hours, what will we all do with the time given? It can be time to think about how to change an approach. It can be time to get up on your bike or treadmill and work those things through.
But here is a thought to keep you going while you manage the things that bother you about work: it doesn’t need to be solved by a specific date. Even an IEP goal. Nope. Nothing. Some things students bring us will be a lifelong process. Other habits we can just let go. Those are not the hills the family wants, even if you need them.
We do suggest making a plan, but really honestly, if you’re in the middle of experience with a student, take the time to realize that sometimes it is just about getting through. And that result you are building may just take a really long time. Hopefully, when they’re through their middle, they will one day thank you. But until then, you will be all right.
Before we leave…
Renay will be talking about Modifications and Adaptations of academics at Cal-TASH. We’ll see you then!
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? 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 during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.