Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Flight of our Hummingbird: This morning

 I read this blog Saturday afternoon.  I can't imagine how it must feel as a parent who has to go through this, although as a teacher it happened to me too many times, but I know it cannot be the same thing.  I may care, even love, but my heart doesn't hurt nearly as much as that parents' does.  I tell parents that this is what makes me a good teacher.  I don't have the Mommy/Daddy heart when it comes to their child, although I have had experienced it with my own children.  Because I am more emotionally detached, I can expect their children to do more, more often and more consistently.  I remember how awful it feels when you expect your own child to do something, and then you worry that you asking too much and what will it do to their feeling of self worth.  I remember feeling frustrated with them and then angry with myself.

I suppose children need to encounter people who love them in all sorts of different ways in order to grow up into healthy adults.

The Flight of our Hummingbird: This morning

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grand Opening!

Today was the opening of our new playground at school.  Accessible to all students, encouraging inclusion and most importantly friendships.  I took my grandson, Jack and my husband played the part of "Mario" (unfortunately a very hot and sweaty job :).  There was also a "Hello Kitty" and an "Elmo", all big hits with the kids.  A music man, balloon animals and a choo choo train ride rounded out the activities along with the piece de resistance, playing on the amazing playground.

Special thank you's go out to a Mother with a vision.  I believe a good time was had by all :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I have linked to a post to a blog called "Flight Platform Living".  In it a Mother blogs about her life, her family and about one of her daughters who has a genetic disability called Smith Magenis Syndrome.  Smith Magenis Syndrome is caused by a deletion on the 18th chromosome.  Some of the characteristics of SMS are;  issues with sleep, engaging personalities, varying degrees of intellectual delay, impulsivity, aggressiveness and attention seeking behavior.  They also often self injure, which is a very difficult thing for a parent to see.  I had a student in one of my classes with SMS and found him to be a very challenging child to teach, but yet couldn't help but love him.  I ended up taking him home with me one weekend, because his Mother had never had the chance to be away from him for 9 years.  Many people have never heard of SMS, even doctors I have spoken to have not often heard of it.  But if you read this blog, you will see what wonderful people they can be.

Flight Platform Living: Sometimes Life Hands You A Roller Coaster When All You Asked For Was A Carousel!

Flight Platform Living: Sometimes Life Hands You A Roller Coaster When All You Asked For Was A Carousel!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Wow, we just had the most amazing accessible playground built at our school.  Colorful, safe, beautiful, fun and fully accessible to all of the children who attend our school.  It was the brainchild of a parent of one of my students and I know she spent many sleepless nights worrying over it, stressing about it and stepping outside of her comfort zone.

The end result is worth it.  And she did it, not just for her child, but for every child at that school and those who will come after.  I hope she realizes how much that says about her as a human being and a Mother.

I didn't get to take any pictures of it today.  I was too busy playing with my students on it :)  What a happy day!  But this is something I am happy about as well :)


Sunday, April 15, 2012

I was really hoping to make this a daily thing, but I let the week overwhelm me :(  Lots of  transition IEPs to do.  Some of them have been difficult because not everyone agrees with the types of placements I think my students should go to.  So I have had to host a myriad of consulting teachers, be very careful how I word my IEP's and am generally stressed out.  I am not great at confrontations, but I really want the best placements for these kids, and I don't think anyone can really know how they learn, or what they need like their parents and I do.

The other problem, of course, is that even though a placement may have the correct name, the "flavor" of the classroom can always be problematic.  So much depends on the teacher, the other students in the class and the administration.  This is when the parents need to really advocate.  If they feel their child is not getting the best education, or needs more help, perhaps there needs to be more staff in the room, they are the ones who really have the power to make a difference.

On a personal note, once I let myself get physically run down, I don't seem to be able to make it up until the weekend.  I was doing a home bound student for another teacher, but I am finding that no matter how I go home from his house, it never takes me much less than 2 hours.  That means I leave home at 6 a.m. and don't get home till 6:30 p.m.!  I have realized I just can't do it and resigned, I don't think the other teacher was very happy about it, but I have started to feel this year that I need to be a little more self protective.  Especially since I had a car accident at the beginning of the school year, destroying my beautiful little red Kia Soul and breaking my sternum.  Not a very nice way to start the year :(  Now I have a silver Soul, but I still feel the sternum from time to time.

On a happier note my husband bought me 2 tickets to the Jason Mraz concert in August!!! My younger daughter Holly will go with me.  My husband went with me last year and managed to read a book through the entire concert :)   I will spare him this year.  You can see how much he loves me :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Happy Easter and good-bye to my Spring break :) :(  I can't say it was all fun or what I wanted (think root canal :), but I did get a bathroom painted, spend time with my husband and visit with my daughter, son in law and grandson!  This was actually the first Easter that Jackson "gets".  He had to have things like Easter baskets and hunts explained to him, but he certainly got into the spirit of things once he understood.

Time to stop messing around and work on finishing my progress reports for my students.  Most have done well this quarter and I don't mind doing the reports because it always gives me the opportunity to stop and think "is this goal really serving this child?"  and if it isn't, then maybe it's time for a review and revision of the IEP.  Luckily, I also get lots of input from therapists who allow me to bounce ideas off of them.  I love therapists in general, they are such a big help when you work with students who have a myriad of issues and I like the ones I have this year an awful lot, they are just plain excellent professionals with my students.  I am a lucky teacher :)

Hope you all have a good holiday too, don't eat too many of those chocolate bunnies!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Well obviously I am still not consistent with this blog business :)  Been off from school, but had an excruciating time concerning a tooth the endondist thought was bad, but wanted to wait and make sure she had the right one.  I went back this week to tell her I was sure which one it was, although I was not in pain, I could tell it felt different.  Then I went back home with a prescription for an antibiotic and a promise for a quick appointment to fix it in the very near future.
Unfortunately, that set the tooth off and and spent that night taking vicodin and holding my face on a heating pad waiting for the sun to come up, so I could call them first thing. Bless them, they had me come in first thing that morning and did the first half of the procedure.  Anyway, didn't I have fun during Spring break?

I have also managed to put off working on the two IEP's I had promised myself I would do over the break.  I actually don't mind writing IEP's, but sometimes I drive myself a little crazy making sure it is what I think that child needs for the coming year.  It's a big responsibility and although IEP's are never written in stone, a meeting can be called at any time by the teacher or parent to revise it, I do want it to be a true statement of what I think this child will be able to accomplish in the next year.  It also drives the direction in which the child's education may be heading, although I admit, being in preschool now, I feel as though there is a little more wiggle room to figure out what's coming up for him/her by future teachers.

So I spent a couple of hours researching and writing goals for one of my kiddos who will be transitioning to another school.  I want them to see beyond her surface/physical limitations and see what a bright child we all (her present teacher and therapists) know she is.  Even if I wrote a bad IEP though, (shudder!) I know her personality and intelligence would shine through.

Here is an Easter video from Jack because it makes me happy :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wow, it's been a long time!

If you look at the picture above, you can see how long it has been.  Jackson is now 3 and just moved back into the area after spending a year with his parents in Georgia (the longest year of my life, I think). 
I am now in a new job and a new school and this is my second year there.  I still teach student with multiple disabilities, but now they are preschoolers.  I decided my back might last longer with the little ones :)  I do miss my elementary school students, but try and keep up with them as much as possible on Facebook. 
We are heading into the home stretch here at school, I am on Spring Break and I have a lot of paperwork to do to make sure those of my kiddos who are transitioning on without me get to where they need to go.  It's not easy and I hope I get what I want for them.  I have been teaching most of them for 2 years now and feel as though I know what kind of program they will do best in.  That doesn't mean other people won't have different ideas.
I will try and keep up with this blog again.  Although, since I just got my "hot off the press" copy of Bloom by Kelle Hampton, I will be a little busy, in a good way :)