It is hard to believe I have been back at school for almost a month. Time truly does fly. I feel like I haven't even had time to breath let alone get everything done that I want to get done.
My classroom is coming along nicely. My students are adjusting, I am adjusting and we are making progress. My classroom is so different from what I imagine most typical classrooms to be. I can have my students for several years in a row. Now this can be good and it can be not so good. I really get to know my students and their individual needs, but by the same token it can sometimes be not so good.
This year, in what we call homeroom (M-Th 9:30-10:45, 12:15-2, 2:45-4:30, and Fridays 9:30-4:30), I have 10 students, 8 of which are returning and 2 who are new. My age levels range from 13 to 21, grades 8-12. And that is just my homeroom class. When we switch classes I see students ranging from 3rd grade up to 12th.
It can be a daunting task to create appropriate lesson plans when you have such a diverse range. Then add in the varying disabilities and special needs and you have quite an interesting dynamic in each class...
Our primary focus with these students should be functional life skills but unfortunately we as educators are forced to focus primarily on academics (Language Arts, Math, Science). It makes me sad that the ADA promises what is best for each individual student based on their individual needs, but legislation such as No Child Left Behind do NOT allow us the freedom to address the student's true priority educational needs but force a set of standards onto them that are not relevant.
And please do not get me wrong. The standards we used prior to our new Access Points also addressed academics but in a more functional way and allowed us to address the individual needs of each unique student.
I am just curious what others feel is their biggest challenge this year... Any thoughts???
...remember ...always stay 'Wild About School'