A great year!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Zelda~*, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2010

    Tomorrow is my final work day before the kiddos come. Tomorrow night is Open House. My paras have been busy setting up the room for me--I've been busy putting together the lessons---

    I think we're just about ready. I'm pumped about this school year! I scored a free aquarium from a teacher who didn't want it any more so we're going to have a hamster and fish! :lol:

    I'm also starting out the year with five kiddos, all of whom have been welcomed into General Education classes with my paras for part of the day.

    I know, that this is going to be a great year! :woot:

    What about you guys? Are you pumped?? :thumb:
     
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  3. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 16, 2010

    Yea, I am excited! I'm no where near ready yet, but I still have till next week.

    I'll only have 6 students which is a huge improvement from the 18-20 I usually have. New challenge is a student in a wheelchair & his 1:1.

    Great news about your students being welcomed in the gen ed classes. That is some accomplishment. It can be a long fought war sometimes to get.
     
  4. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2010

    I'm excited but a bit nervous as there are still so many things juts hanging. I will have 10 students and 9 learning assistants. We had the whole staff lined up at the end of last year but then 2 of the learning assistants quit over the summer so we are still looking to hire 2 more people (doing interviews early next week) and we have our first staff day next Thursday! EEEEKKKKkkk!

    I also found out that the agency that does our PT is making major changes and we might be without our classroom PT (which is a big deal in my very heavy physical needs room).

    I hope we get it all figured out before the year starts.

    As for the actual year and classroom stuff I'm very excited about it :).
     
  5. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2010

    Yeah I'm actually excited about starting too - which is a big change from how I felt a couple of weeks ago! It's cooled off here so the heat wasn't unbearable in my room today. I actually got a lot down and did a little school store shopping. The walls and concepts are coming together much better than I'd hoped. And I'm getting all of my kids taken care of. I sent them all a little card with a picture of me inside introducing myself to the incoming 6th graders, welcoming back the 7 & 8th graders, and included a little calming note to new parents that I would meet them on their bus that first day.

    We have two days of inservice Thurs/Fri and then school starts Monday. I'll have 6 girls and 1 boy. The two rougher boys I had last year are moving "up" to the transition classroom. TOTALLY changes my perspective about teaching. I was really dreading dealing with those boys again. Hopefully they'll be so relieved not to be with the "retards" that their grades will soar through the roof and that's all they needed. Yeah... right.
     
  6. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2010

    I feel like a prerequisite to being in life skills is the inability to recognize that life skills is so "special."

    I know you have a mixed bag, but I feel like you have to be pretty aware (and high!) to notice you're in life skills.'

    My kids just know the other classrooms don't have m&ms and a trampoline... :whistle:

    I guess it's good they're moving on!!!
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2010

    I am also looking forward to a great year! The thing I am MOST excited about is the fact that this is my second year at this position.

    I taught for two years in Texas, one year at a private autism school in NJ, and then last year. So, it's been a while since I've had a "second year" in a position. It feels GOOD to know what I'm talking about, good to know what I'm doing, etc.

    I have our routine down, I know exactly how the kids behave and how to respond, I know our IEP system, I know what worked last year, etc.

    I GOT SPECIAL OLYMPICS APPROVED, so we will be doing that every Wednesday... lots of fun stuff going on.

    I am a little concerned with having eight students in an autism classroom, I think this is just crazy. The cap is nine, so I could potentially get one more before the year is up. The elementary cap is six, but I don't know why it increased as the students get BIGGER...? I'll have two 1:1 paras and one classroom para. Two of these paras were with me last year and are fab. The third para (1:1) is new and has a bad rep but I'm not paying any attention, and giving new para a brand new slate.... :cool: So lets hope for the best on that one.

    We also had a ton of grant money that I got to use last year, and we have lots of awesome things. All of the kids sit on ball chairs (which is so fun and just makes my classroom look like an outerspace classroom). I am getting ULS.... which I'm totally excited for.

    Hmm... what else. Oh, I just feel established this year. People know me. They trust me. They know that I'm strong-willed and not to mess with me. :haha:

    Feeling really good about things.
     
  8. LSSteacher

    LSSteacher New Member

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    Aug 17, 2010

    I'm new here but I'm also excited for the upcoming year. This will be my second year as a middle school (grades 6-8) life skills teacher. I'll have 10 students, four paraprofessionals (three 1:1) and one TSS. I'm looking forward to getting some more great ideas from this forum! :thumb:
     
  9. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2010

    What does TSS stand for?
     
  10. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2010

    Therapeutic Support Staff
     
  11. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    What does a TSS do? I've never heard of it before.
     
  12. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2010

    Therapeutic staff support (TSS) services provide one-on-one interventions to a child or adolescent at home, school, day care, other community-based programs, or community settings when the behavior without this intervention would require a more restrictive treatment or educational setting. Specific therapeutic staff support services include: crisis intervention techniques, immediate behavioral reinforcements, emotional support, time structuring activities, time out strategies and passive restraints (if necessary).

    At least in my experience that's the definition. Not sure if it varies elsewhere.
     
  13. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2010

    The TSS is then assigned to a specific student I'm assuming? Is there also a learning assistant assigned to the student or do they take on different roles? Sorry for all the questions... just fascinating to me how things are done differently in other places.
     
  14. LSSteacher

    LSSteacher New Member

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    Aug 17, 2010

    Yeah, SK hit it on the head pretty well. The biggest difference is that the school district pays a 1:1 paraprofessional and they focus on academics. A TSS is hired through an outside agency that addresses behavior issues.
     
  15. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2010

    So you end up with a student that has both a paraprofessional and a TSS working with him/her?
     
  16. LSSteacher

    LSSteacher New Member

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    Aug 18, 2010

    It can turn out that way. If the student has a behavior plan, they will typically have a TSS. If they have severe academic or self-care needs, they'll typically have a 1:1 para. I had two students with both a TSS and 1:1 last year.
     

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