they say a good co-teaching relationship is like a good marriage. sometimes i think my co-teacher and i are more like brilliant business partners destined to earn millions- our brains together sometimes come up with fantastic ideas.
one of our little ones occasionally never wants to leave the classroom when the class goes to specials. we've tried everything- ignoring her, forcing her (this doesn't go well), carrying her, getting an administrator, etc. everything is a battle. once she gets to the special she's fine, it's just getting her out of the classroom to actually get there.
so, last monday when she refused to go i felt like pulling my hair out. i was stuck- what to do- this habit has got to stop. i stood outside of the classroom where i could see her but she couldn't see me. when my co-teacher got back from dropping the rest of the class off we stood outside the door- trapped between not wanting to give her the attention she wanted and not being able to go into the classroom to get work done.
and then, we had an idea. we're using an fm sound system for our teacher research project. because it's an old school fm system and not the new, fancy infra-red system it will transmit when you are outside of the room as long as you are close enough to the transmitter. which means you have to remember to turn it off when you go to the bathroom or the class may hear everything. or, it means that you can talk to someone from outside the room and they can't see you, or talk back.
we got a teacher whose voice would not be recognizable and asked her to talk into the mike, telling this little one that staying in the classroom was not ok, she had to go to music. and that she had to leave the classroom by the time she counted to five.
the little one, laying on the carpet in the room sat up when the speaker called her name but she couldn't see who was talking to her. then, when it seemed some god was telling her to leave the classroom she slowly got up. by '5' her little nose poked out of the door frame. we immediately grabbed her and said, "good choice!" and pulled her off to music as though some mysterious voice had not just asked her to leave the room.
it may never work again, but i have to say it was incredible to see her little face come out of the room, wondering if god had been directing her to go to music. because so much of her actions are for attention this took away the human interaction part. she earned time with an adult once she left the room, but from inside the room she could only hear a voice.
sometimes i find teaching special ed is all about the creativity. you find something that works, do it until it doesn't work, and then find something else, even more creative.