Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

It's been a busy start to the year in my classroom.  I started this blog at the beginning of the school year, with great plans to post new lessons, ideas, and inspirations weekly that tied into our curriculum topics.  As we got closer to the holiday season though, I just couldn't keep up with everything we had going on in my classroom, as well as the three additional positions I've now taken on.

Since September, I have become my school district's Special Olympics Director, which I've been really excited about.  We just got through swimming season and our swimmers did a great job at the state meet in December.  As part of that title, I have also taken the position of Extra-Curricular Support Coordinator for my district.  As part of our new IEP forms, we are required to discuss with parents the opportunity for their student to participate in extra curricular activities.  For students that are interested in playing after school sports, joining clubs, or participating in music/drama performances, I'm in charge of finding support for them in the activities.  This posed a bit of a challenge in the beginning, as paraprofessionals couldn't assist for more than 5hrs. a week or they would be working overtime, and most teachers didn't want to work additional hours to assist.  I've worked out a system though, where I use a listserv at my previous university, and posted information to college students in Special Ed. related fields about upcoming positions.  I recieved over 100+ responses of students interested in helping, so I've been doing lots of interviews, meetings, and arranging staff for these positions.  It's been fun, but a lot more work than I expected!

I am also in charge of our middle school peer collaboration club and activities, which I'll create a new post about soon.  We have a weekly lunch club in my classroom for each grade level where students with and without disabilities get together to eat lunch, socialize, and play games. We also have an after school social club called Celtic Connections (as our school mascot is the Celtics), where we get together for fun activities after school.  So far this year we have done a video scavenger hunt, went shopping at the mall, and had a holiday party.
Getting all of these started this year has made it hard to keep up with my blogging, but I miss sharing ideas, getting great ideas from others, and being able to talk with other teachers in the same field.  I hope to be back on track in the new year, and I look forward to talking with those of you that read this little blog!

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