Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Friday, September 23, 2016

"What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

I have been out of school this week for September break and I just can't lie....I needed the break! Seven weeks in has felt like 7 months, honestly. 
I digress, so back to the question at hand: What surprised me this week? What caught me off guard? What made me unexpectedly happy?
Surprise, jolt, and caught off guard certainly happened the previous week in my class.  Unfortunately, it has to do with student behavior and illegal activity happening in school and I don't want to post about that on a public forum. But needless to say; I was shook up and jolted!

So I'll move on to something very simple that made me unexpectedly happy. IEP meetings! We all know and love them, right? Well, not so much maybe.  Last year, we could go to the meeting, say our piece, and leave and get back to our class.  This year things have changed.  We are required to stay for the entire meeting.  I'm sure yall know these can last an hour or more and I am finding I often have to miss entire class periods.  When I miss those class periods, I feel it's a complete waste. My students aren't focused and aren't learning the material I need them to learn.  However, IEP meetings are a necessary evil. 
The email is sent out to all gen ed teachers and at least one has to attend.  Unfortunately, I always seem to be the teacher that attends.  Funny how that keeps happening.  I just can't bring myself to be "that teacher" that conveniently forgets to respond to the email and not attend. 
So last week I attended the meeting for one of my students. He was present with his parent.  I am a straight-shooter when it comes to my recommendations. Of course I have social etiquette when presenting my material and offering suggestions, but I don't beat around the bush.  This particular student is more than capable of high achievements in the classroom. He has no known learning disabilities or diagnosed mental health conditions.  He is very social with his friends, controls his behavior in class, and is very polite to me.  He simply does not do his work.  I re-direct him over and over and give him alternative assignments, etc.  Trying everything I can to motivate him to complete in class assignments.  I have failed.  I had this student all last year, so I know first hand that he is capable.
I told him in the meeting that I want this more than he does.  His mother wants this more than he does.  His case holder wants this more than he does.  I explained to him that until he decides he wants it, he will continue to fall short of academic success. I also informed him that if his academics do not improve he would not be eligible to play baseball.  His head popped up and suddenly he started to listen. I finally got him to say that he was very capable of the work but he just wasn't motivated and was not applying himself.  I felt good leaving the meeting in the sense that this student understood the major role he played in his own success.

Fast forward to the next morning.  I clock in at 7am and I see one of my assistant principals in the office.  She has a reputation for being unapproachable (especially to us new folks). She stopped me and told me that word had gotten back to her that "I'm the teacher to have in IEP meetings". I must have looked at her funny because she began to elaborate, as I did not know what she was referring to.  She told me that word has gotten back to her that I have been attending all these meetings and that she hears I have great input and influence with the students.  She appreciated my effort and words in the meetings.  Yes, this is my happy moment.  This is the first time that she has ever complimented me. It was my happy moment. It made me feel as if my effort and contributions have not gone unnoticed.  Sometimes its the little things :)


chefjoi25 said...

That's great Laura. I have two IEP meeting so can fill in for me if you are to it. It's amazing how you can throw in a child's intrest like baseball, band, or football and everything changes. I will be paying close attention to the child on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to really have myself ready on Thursday.

Thanks for sharing.

Crystal said...

Hey Laura (Louise)! I want to start out by saying how JEALOUS I am of you to have a "week" out for fall break. We only get "two days!" One day in October and the other in February. Geesh I'm so jealous. At least you got some rest... I hope ;-) Well, I can say that I am proud of you and your happy moment. I have never attended an IEP meeting; however, I have heard the same thing about them as you. I do know that you do have your way with words especially when i comes to encouraging someone to do better. I have witnessed that first hand with you when you continuously encourage me to strive for greatness! That is wonderful that his light bulb went off and hopefully he continues to do better (his work). Sometimes the naked truth (is what I call it) is all a person need to give them that little push.

Awesome job Louise!