Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mrs. Akins, You Taste Like Soap

Pretty sure this will be the title of my next book.

Teaching students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities and students with autism is my favorite job in the world. Except for fourth grade. Which you know, is my favorite, too. But once you find out how much you love working with difficult students, teaching typical kids can be, well, kind of boring. My principal told me she's never seen anyone de-escalate students the way I do and as quickly as I do. I'd say that's a pretty great endorsement! I can't take credit for my ability. I mean, I was sort of born with it the same as anyone is born gifted to do anything else right?

The job isn't perfect by any means. My caseload is too big. The school is a full-inclusion school so my students have a tough time navigating it at times. Most of the time, actually. It makes my job a challenge.

I have two of the best paras on this earth helping me. One is with one of our students all day and the other one is helping me right now with some "frequent flyers" in the room. These are students who spend a good portion of the day in our room. To be on diploma track they have to go to class at least 15 minutes per class and we support them academically in our room when they come to us after that. It can get chaotic with that many needs in the room, and with so many students pushing back and not wanting to comply with directives. You have to have a good sense of humor!

One of the reasons I love this job is that it's challenging. I love the constant adventure of figuring out what will work to help a student navigate the stressors of their day. There are things I'm good at and other things I'm not so good at. But I believe I will get better at those things each day and become a well-rounded teacher. The things I'm good at, I feel, are the most important. My students know I love and care about them. When they get through an entire day without a meltdown? That's a WIN. Winning rocks!

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Can you guess my new mascot?

As soon as I get my badge, I'll announce my new school and position. So excited!!