The number 3 reason why subways run late is....
30 July 2008
29 July 2008
I know I've been a bit of a blogging loser lately, but things have been nuts and I've been just trying to keep up.
17 July 2008
14 July 2008
And this newfound appreciation is, of course, for coffee. I suppose I've never really NEEDED it before, but now I know and can really experience it's magic powers. Almost drug-like, I'd say. I don't even care where it's from, as long as it's black and cheap-ish.
09 July 2008
08 July 2008
Again, sorry for the randomness of this post, but life is really too crazy for me to write anything more than dis-jointed statements about life right now. But you get the jist of it. DISCLAIMER: A lot of what I have to say specifically has to deal with children on the autistic spectrum and might not be applicable to all populations of students.
- I've now been student teaching for 3 days and have learned more in those 3 days than I have in the 3 weeks I've had of masters classes so far.
- I'm in a classroom of 7 children with autism (6 of whom are non-verbal, ages 9-11) and 2 paras****... I'm so pleased with my situation that it scares me. Like should things really be this great??? I've heard horror stories about paras, but the ones in my classroom are like angels on Earth who truly care about the students and their success.
- In the past three days I've witnessed a child having "an accident" (i.e. going #2 in his pants), another one tried to kiss me and thinks he is my boyfriend, another who is as fast as a lightening bolt and tried to run out of the class, a visit by CPS and serious problems at home, a parent who couldn't be more involved with her child's education, and another who has the most beautiful eyes and just stares at me for long periods of time. Like gets up about 2 inches from my face and just stares and smiles. You always hear of a lot of children with autism having issues with looking people in the eye, but you can never assume anything with kids about what they can or can't do.
- Along with that, you can't assume what these children's home lives are like, what their intelligence level is, what they comprehend, etc. The only safe assumption (in my opinion) is that even though a child may be non-verbal, they can still HEAR you and understand what you're saying. A teacher should never talk about a student negatively or condescendingly in front of them. You would never do it if they were verbal, so don't do it if they aren't.
- I've also seen a lot of things that I'd do differently in the classroom, but have also gotten many good ideas about what works and things regarding classroom management of kids with special needs.
- I've learned that I LOVE working with kids with autism... they're SO incredibly intelligent and so different. Each one has different triggers, both positive and negative. One of my students cannot speak and has some behavior management issues, but you get him on the computer and he will google anything and everything about Star Wars/Star Trek and knows how to find images, toys, information, etc. It's amazing!! He just knows how to do it without any instruction. These kids have deep interests and obvious learning styles, the key is to tap into that and expand it.
- "Autistic children" is not PC... it's "children with autism" or also commonly referred to as "children on the autistic spectrum". It's a mouthful, but you'd never describe a person with cancer as a "cancerous person". There are cancerous cells and masses, just as there are autistic behaviors or tendencies. But people themselves are not cancerous or autistic.
- I feel so lucky to have found something that feels like more than just a JOB, but it's something that I actually don't mind getting up at 6am for. Imagine that. I'm already in love with these students after only 3 days, I can't imagine how I'll feel with my own class of students.
- SCHOOL IS HARD. Ugh... this week especially. Every day I leave the house at 7 am, get home at 7 pm. Then every day I have a paper to write. And then other things to do. And on Saturday I have to take two make-or-break tests and pass them both. I'm not too too nervous about it, but still, just one more thing.
- New York is an amazing city and I feel so blessed to be able to live here and experience different people, areas, and situations everyday. The possibilities really are endless.
- Happy happy birthday to my amazing Mom, I don't know what I'd do without you and you give me so much support and love, I can't even imagine going through all of this without having you as my soundboard!
02 July 2008
.... so that they can afford to live in an apartment building with a doorman who can sign for their packages because when teachers aren't available from 6:45am until 7:30pm, it is impossible for them to ever be home to sign for it or go to the post office to pick it up with their suitcase that they dragged down 4 flights of stairs because the package is 60 lbs and that's the only way possible they could ever get all of those necessary work clothes into their bedroom.
01 July 2008
So in order to quiet any thoughts that I'm falling too far behind on blogging my life to ever return, here is my update. Where do I start? We'll do this thematically.
- Don't confuse "hip-hop culture" with being poor. So many people I encounter every day are people that you'd consider "ghetto"... but they're ghetto with their Gucci bag and iPhone. Never assume anything about people in New York... they'll trick you every time.
- NYC public transportation is a necessary evil. I'm so thankful that you can get basically anywhere via bus and subway, but they're SOOO annoying. The busses are crowded, there's traffic on the streets, but the subways don't always run late nights/weekends, and sometimes they run express past stops or just randomly stop in the middle of the line. Necessary, but evil.
- IKEA is also annoying. Enough on that.
- I feel like I need about 7 bookshelves for my room, but I have no idea where to put them. I definitely need to get more organized somehow though. Especially teaching special ed, the paper work is ENDLESS and you need to keep record of everything. So I need to get organized fast.
- The only thing I shop for (in terms of clothes) are work appropriate clothes. Any new clothes I buy will be business casual. How depressing.
- I am terrified of teaching. There, I said it. I most likely will get my wish of working in a classroom with children with autism, which sounds all well and good, but I have NO idea what to expect. I really hope to get this experience in my field training, because I have no idea even what kids with autism are like. I feel so unprepared, but I still know that my love for these kids and genuine want to help them will prepare me enough. Very weird feeling.
- There was a sociopath in my class but luckily she got kicked out of the program. It scares me that she could have ever been around children. I'm sad that she slipped through the cracks in terms of the interview process but glad that action was taken against her before she got in the classroom.
- I hope I didn't just bore everyone with this long laundry list of randomness.
- Ugh laundry... that's a whole different story.
Life has been just so chaotic lately that this blog has been the last thing on my mind. School is crazy and there is a ton of work. Everything is really condensed so it's like 3-4 papers per week. Starting on Thursday, I'll be student teaching in the morning, then having two classes, and then finally getting home. I'll be leaving the house at about 6:45 am and not returning until around 7:30 pm. And then still having to do school work and lesson planning.... it's not going to be pretty.