We All Fall Down…

If you missed the headline, after seventeen years of working in secondary, Renay was assigned to work elementary this year. Despite the fact that the majority of the students Renay has been working with are just smaller than students she has worked with in a very long time, there were other main similarities she realized.

The biggest simply is, after five weeks with no break, everyone is done and wants a break. For older students this usually looks like not turning in assignments, for younger students this is the inherent need to run back and forth on the playground in some variation of amoeba ball but there is often no ball involved. For staff and teachers, this is when the demands start coming around from the teacher to the students. For students with disabilities, this is typically the time the student will push back. And all everyone wants is just a break. Some districts provide this, some districts do not. If your district does not have a mid fall break, or even a ski week in February, some reminders for everyone to stay cool and professional during this time:

  1. Stay true to the norms of the classroom. Everyone is a member of the community. While some individuals may need specific conversations, reminding everyone that we are together for the foreseeable future is important.
  2. Keep using the visual schedule. Cut back on verbal instructions. This seems harder for younger students and especially students who do not know how to read yet.
  3. Speaking of students who are young: print their instructions. Using a simple font helps limit challenges in willingness to read.
  4. Find a reason to have everyone smile. Whether you take time to speak to each student every day, or do something as a class. Find the smile. Find a laugh

Stay true to the norms of the classroom. Everyone is a member of the community.


The Number You Have Dialed…

Perhaps this is heading is an older reference and most of our readers will not appreciate the specific sound that phrase makes in some of our memories. But communication is literally the backbone of the entire process of education. Whether it is texting, a system communication like Discord, Slack, or another known app, email, talking, meetings, or written notes, getting information across the entire team is important.

Physically hand confidential information to the case manager. Let the case manager know the day was all right or not.

Taking Care of Yourself…

The first year back is going to be wading through uncharted territory. Even if you did have in person classes last year for the whole year, things are still quite different for many students. Spending the time to acknowledge that being in school is hard and being sincere about it, the longer day, the full attention required, the space to learn and follow directions are all needed for all the students.

It Is October

October is a packed celebration month with the ending of Hispanic Heritage Month, Disability Awareness Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month…needless to say there is a lot to discuss in October.

Some of our favorite activities are looking at things we can do and things we cannot do without help. And the realization that everyone needs help to do things.

But it is equally important to move beyond ‘awareness’. What are you doing to model acceptance of students with disabilities? What words are you using to help facilitate friendships that will develop over the entire school year and perhaps a life time for the student with a disability?

And if you were wondering, here is a list of everything that happens in October related to disabilities.

Do you have any comments about this month’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 herehereherehere, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during once a month during the academic school year. 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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