We got a new student today. That's 3 since September. This is fairly typical of a program for students with intellectual disabilities because the base schools start the year trying their best to meet the needs of all students. As the year goes on and they find that their school isn't the best fit they look to us.
The kiddo is awesome- a great addition to our crew. It's just- a new kid is tough! When I was a gen ed teacher I loved getting new kids. It was an awesome chance to reinforce our routines and do some more class bonding. It usually let the kids who had gotten comfortable with an unspoken identity in the class (the class clown, the quiet one, the helper) be forced into a new routine and a new place. It was good- shake us all up, get us on our toes.
And that's all still true now, it's just... a bit harder. Today was like the beginning of the year again- trying to predict behavior, somehow trying to get three adults to magically turn into ten so that we could all be in different places at the same time.
Change is hard for all my kiddos. It was a long day. It made me realize how far my kids have come since the beginning of the year- how independent they are, how confident and sure of themselves they are- how much I rely on them to be independent so that we can get our learning on. Today felt like that disheartening first day of school all over again when you wonder if it will be possible to ever get to the bathroom again.
We'll get our groove back and our new friend will become an integral part of our team, just like our other kids have become. We're lucky to have him and it's going to be a lot of fun getting to know him. I may just need more caffeine in the morning and more ice cream in the evening until we get ourselves on track.