Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop!

I don't know about you, but I'm super excited about today's Blog Swap and Hop!  You can find me over at The Convenient Teacher today!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to post on Ms. Preppy.  I love Caitlin's blog and when I made the arrangements for this blog swap, I sorta, might have, selected myself to go onto her blog because I love it so much.  But then, it came time to write my post.  I froze.  I blanked.  Not only do I have big shoes to fill, but now she's an ABA therapist.   That means that I should talk about behavior management or something, right?    Well, I've done a couple of those lately, and I'm kinda tapped out.  So, I tried to brainstorm for some common ground.

Organization!  Doesn't it seem like no matter what, we all could be better organized?  When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher used folders to keep herself organized.  She had a different folder for every day and she would store things in those folders.  I loved that idea!  I decided to use letter trays myself.  I have a different tray for each day, and since they come in packs of 3, I have a spare one for long term files.  My desk is still a disaster, but it's the best system I could think of.  I created some file folder labels for you if you'd like to try that system out.  I have a black and white one and a pink and green one since I know color printing isn't always an option for some people.  And they're polka dots because, well, I'm a big fan of polka dots!  Click on the pictures to download the file.

Last year, I started the year with a calendar that I wrote to do lists on.  Then I started using little yellow pads.  No matter what, I never could keep a system going.  I had post it notes all over the computer with reminders.  I don't want to be a disorganized mess this year.  My position is changing and it won't be as crazy (please don't let it be as crazy!) and so I've resolved to be clean and organized!  I created this weekly sheet that I think may help me.

Again, I created a color version and a black and white version.  I like having a To Do list because I love crossing things off.  Don't we all?  I want to put the dates on the bottom with information on important things that week or in the next week or two.  And I want to use the follow up circle for things I need to follow up on from previous weeks.  Plus, there's a little bit of space left over for notes if I need to throw a phone number or something down.  The files are images.  That way you can right-click and save the file.  Then you can paste it into Publisher, Word, or whatever program you prefer, insert a text box, and then type straight onto it.  I like to have my lists written out by hand, but I know many of you prefer the neatness of typing.  

Finally, a while back I bought myself a super fancy Erin Condren planner with some super coupons.  I hope to spend some time this year figuring it out, planning things out, and getting my money's worth.  If you haven't seen those planners, go check them out.  Tons of people love them.

I hope I've given you some resources that you can use to get organized now and for the next school year!

Tessa Maguire is a former reading teacher and differentiated instruction coach.  She currently is in a dual role administration and curriculum coaching position.  She spends her days helping her K-3 teachers find what works best for them and their students.  She blogs about the resources she finds and creates and she shares tips and strategies for effective instruction.  You can find out more information on her blog Tales from Outside the Classroom:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When in Doubt: Ignore!

Now that I'm out of the classroom and working as a behavior therapist, I'm able to utilize something I've always been good at: ignoring.  It's in my job description to ignore.  Never thought that would happen!

A kid is throwing a fit?  Ignore.

Now they're waving their hands in your face?  Ignore.

And then they start banging a toy on the table?  Ignore.

I do a pretty decent amount of ignoring every day.  And the fits and noises and banging of toys are easy to ignore.  But let me tell you what's NOT easy to ignore: hilarious repetitive questions and statements.  One of my new friends frequently engages in repetitive questions and statements.  A lot.  And they typically require me to turn my head for a second while I regain composure.  On Friday we were working and all of a sudden he blurted out, "Friskies Seafood Sensations.  Feed the Senses."  And he said it just the same as the commercial.  And I had to turn away.  And then he repeated it 6 more times.  And I had to turn away.  Six. More. Times.  Here's a snippet of the commercial, just in case you want the full effect.

Can you imagine having to ignore that?  It was hard!  I'm getting better at the whole no smiling or laughing thing. But I still have some work to do.

What's the funniest thing you've had to ignore in your classroom?  Or the funniest thing you should have ignored, but couldn't control your laughter?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What a {first} day!

It's been about two weeks since starting my new job as an ABA therapist (applied behavior analysis), and I must's a blast!  It's also probably the closest I'll ever get to being a behavior analyst a la Criminal Minds.  I'll take what I can get.  And here's what I've got:

Six kids on my caseload.

Yes.  Six.  Let's compare that to the 90 kids I tackled each day as a teacher.  No comparison, right?  I don't even see all six kids in one day.  Usually just 2 or 3 of them.  I love it. They range in age from 3-17.  And they're all very interesting characters.  I'll share some stories later.  Right now I wanted to tell you a bit about my first day of work:

As I was gathering my things to head out the door and to the office, I got a phone call saying my first kid cancelled.  Great!  First kid on my first day cancels on me!  She hadn't even met me yet and she didn't want to come.  Now that she knows me, I'm sure she doesn't want to miss a session...

Then my next kiddo showed up, we get to know each other {which was interesting considering he's non-verbal and doesn't know any signs yet either} and I quickly discovered he loved to swing.  LOVED to swing.  Even more than that, he loved to SPIN on the swing.  We spun and spun and spun and do you know where this is going?  Why yes, you're right, he did throw up!  Success!

You know what they say... it ain't over til the cute little blondie throws up on his new therapist.  Wait, do they say that?  Well, they do now.  So luckily the day was over after I had a brush with barf.  Now it was time to learn all about the paper work that comes with this new job.  I was sitting in my rolling chair in the office and bent over to plug in my laptop when all of a sudden...BAM!  I was in the floor.  Yes.  That's right.  I completely flipped out of my chair and onto the floor, scraping and bruising my arm on the way down in front of two of my new co-workers.  We decided it would be best to trade my rolling chair in for a chair with four stable legs so I wouldn't be a liability.  It's been two weeks and I still stay away from rolling chairs.

So, yeah...  That was my first day.  Cancellations, vomit, and injuries.  Some people may look at that and think, that a sign?  But me, I love crazy.  It makes for good stories.