Florida Alternate Assessment
With the FAA being for students with “severe cognitive disabilities,” and the FCAT being for general education students, where is the assessment for the students who need something more appropriate to their ability level?
Is there no middle ground?
My November decorations for my classroom! So far my classroom decorations have changed every month. August/September was a Luau beach theme and October was Spooky Halloween! The kids absolutely love it, as do I! Happy Fall Y’all!
On my toes
As we go into the fifth week of school, my first-year teacher jitters are back into full swing! Beginning this week I will be having 3 students transferred into my class full time, and another 3 students come in for an hour each day for writing. In the first few weeks I only had between 8 and 6 students (Two students didn’t show up the entire first week, then came for the second week before withdrawing). Now that I may have as many as 12 ESE students in my room at one time with just myself and the paraprofessional, I am very nervous.
I set very high expectations for myself to be successful, and expect my students to work just as hard as I do. My teaching philosophy begins with the statement that “All children can learn.” and I hold ALL of my students accountable for academic progress. As I said in my previous post, If I don’t set high expectations for them, then who will? I know I am going to be successful; I thrive on success. It helps me keep going and allows me to set high goals for myself and my students. Wish me luck as I go into my fifth week of teaching and welcome six new birdies into my outstanding flock!
is like riding a unicycle on a tightrope, while juggling 3 apples, and saying the alphabet, backwards… It’s totally possible, but only by a special few!
The truth is…
Only about 50% of what I learned in college has fully prepared me for my first year of teaching. The rest I am learning as I go. The most important lesson so far? Stay close to the people who WANT to help you, not those who are obligated to.
- Ms. Siegel
Things to be thankful for during my first week as a FYT…
Help Ms. Siegel's classroom by donating supplies!
- My kids are incredible! They just make coming to work every morning sooo worth it. I have a wide range of ages, grades, and ability levels, and I know this year they are all going to succeed!
- My principal commented me on my classroom decor. She said she loved it!
- The new paraprofessional they hired for my room is AMAZING! Even though she is older and has been a parapro for many years at a different school, she’s extremely helpful, not afraid to do anything, and is eager to learn. Seriously thankful for her!
- The ESE Staffing specialist on the leadership team is incredible! She told me today she’s going to go the principals office and tell her how much she loves me!
- My mentor is extremely helpful and has been doing this for 8 years. I know I can learn so much from her. Right when I think I am going to have a mental breakdown from not knowing what to plan for my lessons, she walks into my classroom and calms me down.
- My school is one huge family. So many of the teachers are kind, helpful, and supportive. I know they have all been where I am now, and so I am just extremely appreciative for their embracing nature.
I’m pretty sure I covered all of the basics. I mean, I am just so incredibly thankful for EVERYTHING at my school (as if you couldn’t tell from my overuse of exclamation points)!!! I am taking this one day at time. I plan to work hard, keep the education of my children as my main focus, and soak up as much of this experience as I can!
XOXO - Ms. Siegel
The School I work at does not give out class supply lists and gives teachers most of their supplies. However, Ms. Siegel is asking that you help her classroom out by donating some specific supplies catered to her student’s needs. Take some time and see if you have any of these things lying around your house, or if you see any great coupons/sales! Any and All help is appreciated, but please do not feel obligated! Thanks and Happy Teaching
Positively Persistent Teach: Small Victories
This post made my heart smile. This is exactly why I do what I do. I know that I was born to teach, and now my passion lies within the realms of special education. The children I work with every day are not special because they are different, they are special because they love you just as much as you love them. Looking forward to an amazing first year teaching!
Teaching in a special education self-contained classroom taught me to celebrate small victories. Accomplishments are not always measured by tests, checklists, or projects. Progress may not always be academic. A child identified with PDNOS plays with another child for 10 minutes a game that the…
Standing at the front door of my classroom looking in, I realized something today: My students, my children, they ARE different from other children. They are different because they do not look at others and judge. They don’t walk by other classrooms and stare through the window at “those weird kids” in the “special ed room” making jokes about riding the short bus. My children are kind to everyone they meet. They greet you with a smile and treat you no different than they would their own mom and dad.
My children amaze me on a daily basis with their abilities and strides in the classroom. Sure, they might be in fifth grade and reading at a Kindergarten level, but that is simply beyond their control. They work hard, are proud of their successes, and want to be treated just like everyone else; With kindness and respect. I love these kids. I have been with them for 11 weeks now and with just 4 weeks remaining I am starting to realize that I will miss them so much. So much more than any other students I have ever worked with. I have grown to love them and I know that they share the same feelings.
Continue to love, little ones, and you will have all the happiness in life. <3