Sunday, June 1, 2014

3 years down.

I just wrapped up my third and most exciting year of teaching.  This school year flew by!  I had many opportunities to represent my students and school in our community and abroad.  Just today a fantastic article on the school district I work for was on the front page of our local paper, The Yuma Sun.  It features myself and some of my students.  Check out the article here:

District One Offers A Variety of Services for Special Needs Students

Just another day in Room N.
This year I was nominated for Arizona Teacher of the Year, but turned it down because I don't have the experience to go up against the many well deserving others, and I had so much on my plate, that I couldn't have possibly given it 100%.  It was a gamble, but I'm not in this for the awards, I'm in it for kids like this sweet girl.  By the end of this school year she was out of her wheel chair standing/walking  (with assistance). How's that for an award!?


We wrapped up our Science unit of "Exploring Change" by playing with food coloring and mixing them together to see what other colors we could come up with.


To me, there are many challenges and difficulties with teaching students with special needs.  By far, the hardest one is saying goodbye.  Two of my students will not be returning next school year.  One of them I have had all three years, and the other for two years.  Aging out and moving up are best for the students, but a rough transition for those of us that have grown attached to them.

Judah had one of his best years as he began his first year of 1st grade.  It wasn't without trials in the beginning.  I came close to exacting some street justice on a teacher.  Thankfully they found the door first.  Once we got Judah in the right hands, we found one of the best and most loving teachers for him. 

Ms. Loose loved my boy about as much as someone outside of family could.
It's crucial, as parents, to make sure that we put our kids with special needs with someone who "wants" to teach them.  The reality is, you cannot force someone to love or even like your kid.  I know that sounds like common sense, but we think "how can you not love this kid?".  They're out there.  Don't waste your time.  I regret giving Judah's first teacher this year a "chance".  Even with me working at the same school.  If you can't cooperate and collaborate with me, you're screwed.

Judah did two years of kindergarten and just completed first grade in a general education classroom with resource support.  We have decided that we will put him in first grade again next year.  He'll be back with the amazing Ms. Loose.  My girls don't get much attention on this blog, but they sure do in real life.  My baby girl graduated kindergarten and will join Judah in first grade next school year.

My sweet Aveline and I.
 Cheers to another school year gone by!  I have to stay fresh and change things up for next school year! I'll be spending a much needed summer break recharging, visiting family, getting healthier, and most of all spending time with my wife and kids.

Teach. Advocate. Include.  

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