New Life Skills Teacher here!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by nicegirl, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Hi all,

    I need some tips. I, like all other new teachers, have no idea where to start. For those who are life skills, please tell me what a day in your classroom looks like. I know I won't follow a standard curriculum so just need some ideas how to incorporate for all styles into one room. I don't know how many kids or the types of kids I will have in my room. I am sure, from past prevalence at my school, there will be one higher functioning class and two lower functioning life skills classes. Not sure where I will be placed yet.

    Any advice would be great! Thanks!
     
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  3. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    NiceGirl, I am soooooooo happy for you. I remember you worried about approval from that district. Did it work out, did you take offer #2 at the chartet, or did another suddenly fly open for you?

    Regardless, congratulations and good luck. I am also entering my first year and will be elementary self contained special ed. We can share ideas!!!
     
  4. RJN

    RJN Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    NiceGirl,
    Congrats! In my opinion, you will be teaching the best group of kids! I have been teaching Life Skills for 11 of my 18 years and LOVE it! I taught elem. and am currently teaching middle school. My kids abilities range from a nonverbal student who needs to be told every step, even to stand up to students who read on a 2nd grade level and are counting back change and cooking meals for themselves.

    My best advise for you is to think about your day/week and what you need to be able to do to get through your life and bring it to their level. (daily living skills-cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping also social skills, game playing, conversation skills, self care skills, and then functional academics, money, time, reading etc.) That sounds like a lot, but it's what they need help with.

    When I do academics, I rarely do it if it doens't apply to a functional skill. We use the phone book, newspaper, recipes, labels, signs, grocery ads, etc. I use environmental print every day. Our class has a business where we provide the teacher's and copy room with a snack basket, which gives us a huge amount of math and reading practice. We also have a community component, where we ride public transportation downtown and shop, look for signs, practice crossing the street, and volunteer at the soup kitchen.

    You will probably have to make most of your materials, so look for Boardmaker and Writing with Symbols programs for your computer. I also suggest using a digital camera. It's always better to use the actual photos of things when teaching them or sequencing something like brushing your teeth, etc.

    I could go on and on, but there is an overview. Let me know if I can help any more. Good luck and enjoy yourself with these kids. They are so much fun, I laugh everyday!
     
  5. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Thanks, Hdmeza. This is job #2! I am really excited about it and nervous at the same time. I hope you have a great first year. I'm already getting emails from trainings, etc and haven't even signed a contract yet! I am sure we can exchange information. Good luck to you too!!!
     
  6. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    RJN,

    Thanks so much for the overview. I know it's hard to prepare much beforehand considering I don't know my kids yet and what they need. It seems like I have a really supportive SPED coordinator so I am hoping to draw on her experiences. My district also has a great new teacher induction from what I understand. I am already planning to sign up for a curriculum training on 8/14/06 to use as a time equivalency one on 10/18/06. Anyway, thanks for the tips and I will definitely look for you when the school year starts and I really need some help! :)
     
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jul 27, 2007

  8. daddy'sgirl

    daddy'sgirl Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Congratulations nicegirl! I'm so happy that things worked out for you. I'm sure that you will do well in your new position. Is this still going to be in cy-fair?
     
  9. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007


    daddy'sgirl....yep, still in Cy-Fair. I am glad, it was my top pick. :)
     
  10. daddy'sgirl

    daddy'sgirl Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    That's great. I'm also going to be in cy-fair.
     
  11. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2007

    I just got called for an interview with Harris County for a Life Skills teacher - I am in an ACP program for Special Ed - I read with interest the previous posts so have a better idea of what a "life skills" teacher does - anyone know much about Harris CountyDept. of Ed? I do know the kids could be elementary age up to HS. Thanks for any info -
     
  12. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2007

    Lisa, are you talking about the JJAEP schools?
     
  13. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2007

    The job is at the ABC (Academic and Behavior Center) East campus - does that help?

    Lisa
     
  14. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2007

    It sounds like JJAEP... it's an alternative school for kids who have been expelled from their home district, right?
     
  15. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2007

    No - there are 3 different schools - and one is that type (called the Highpoint schools) those are for kids expelled - but this one is, I am assuming for kids with developmental disabilities - as they mentioned some of them may not be toilet trained?
     
  16. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2007

    Well - I just found the correct place on their website - the ABC schools are for kids with emotional disturbances, mental retardation, developmental disorders, and other health impairments. I just did not know if anyone was familiar with Harris County Dept. of Ed.
     
  17. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2007

  18. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2007

    No, not it - I guess I will find out more on the interview....we'll see...
     
  19. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2007

    lol yeah, wasn't the one I was thinking of then... Good luck though!
     

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