Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First day reflections

I am curled up on my couch, nursing a glass of wine and trying to fully comprehend everything that happened today.

My kids are ROCK STARS. I mean, I absolutely adore my students. We rock. The other teachers I work with rock as well. We had lots of smiles, lots of songs and dancing and singing. We read Pete the Cat twice and sang along both times. We read two Gerald and Piggy books and giggled at those crazy friends and their antics.

It's my first time teaching in what is considered an "Intellectual Disability Program" which essential means that the children in our program are not necessarily the children who live in the school's boundaries. Instead they are children from around the county who are bused to a school that houses a program like ours. I still have a lot to learn in terms of how these programs work.

For one, the busing is a bit overwhelming. All of our students ride buses that are different from the school's neighborhood buses since they are coming from all over. This means the bus routes are not as smoothly set as the buses for the neighborhood. The buses are late, which means we get our children late and it means they leave late. I can't even tell you how sad it was to see our children sitting so quietly with their heads down, fighting sleep at the end of a very long day, when all of their peers had gone home. I know it will get better (we've already gotten an email about the changes they've put into place for tomorrow) and it is just first day kinks, but it was rough to watch them patiently wait for buses that seemed to never come.

Then there is the schedule. We don't have one yet. We're still working out when our children are included in their other classes and when they stay with us, which means right now I don't have a full schedule. No lunch break or planning period for me. I ate half a sandwich during "quiet time" after lunch and finished it off on my frantic drive to pick up Baby Lipstick (I was a full 30 minutes late). Again, just first week kinks- I have no doubt it will get better- I always just forget how hard the first week really is with so much up in the air.

I hate to sound like I am complaining because seriously, my kids rocked today. I know I have a lot of areas where I can improve as a teacher and a lot I can learn about teaching a class full of children with intellectual disabilities, but I think it is going to be a great year. 

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