I totally get it. You blinked like 3 times and suddenly September is gone. September was all about routines and reinforcement. Worry about those IEP goals and data collection later. That was probably comforting and relieved some stress. Good. I hope you took full advantage of taking that month to focus on teaching consistent routines and making yourself and your classroom an amazingly reinforcing, chocolate chip cookie like place. If your schedules aren’t down yet, don’t stress. Keep at it. If it takes two months – it takes two months. But if your schedules are starting to flow, it’s time to up the ante for both you and your students. Before we go full fledge into data and academics, I want to spend some time this month talking about two potential obstacles in teach-your-students-all-the-things plan. These aren’t concepts to only work in on October – they will be year-long endeavors. But it’s important to get started on these asap because (as you are probably realizing already) if you don’t get these two things rolling smoothly it’ll be hard to get anything else in place.
Let's talk behavior management.
It doesn’t matter how perfectly organized or efficiently designed your data sheets are for your academic IEP goals if you are getting punched in the face 8 times a day. Extreme behavior is going to take first priority in your classroom because above everything else you number one responsibility as a special ed teacher is keeping those babies safe every single day. So this month I am going to share some of the previous posts I have done on behavior (there are tons and a blog series!) plus sharing some new interventions and strategies that you can use right away in your classroom. If you have specific questions about a situation, feel free to email. Often times these are similar situations that many of us are dealing with and I can know what content you want to read some blogs on!
Let's talk staff management.
My first year teaching the things that I was the most naive to and unaware was the percentage of my job that should be focused on staff management. Honestly it was no where on my radar. I was up to my ears in IEPs and laminating and schedules that the last thing I thought about was how to clarify expectations with my staff so we could work cohesively as a team. Even if you have the most amazing paraprofessionals in the world, you still need have clear communication and provide training so you can all work together. First year teacher Sasha got a swift kick in the you know what about this and it was a really hard year partially because I didn’t address staff management at all. So this month let’s talk about how to clarify staff schedules, work with substitute paraprofessionals, and setting expectations on cell phone use right away (I have a mini webinar on this coming soon!). Again – send me your questions & concerns!