Monday, November 16, 2015

My Heart Is Happy



Today I was going to blog about visuals and this awesome product I've been using at home, but instead I want to blog about something that made my heart happy today and the reason I do what I do!

This year I am in a new role as an inclusion coach.  This is new to the district so we  are working out some kinks but I have found some great success and teachers who are so welcoming to this position and to me!

We have a student in our special education classroom who spends the majority of his time in the resource room: except lunch, recess and specials.  I have been with this student since he was 2 years 9 months and he is now in fifth grade, I am invested!!! So my goal this year is to get him in the general education classroom more than what he was getting.  This morning, at 8am, I met with the resource room teacher and we decided that we would find more opportunities to get him into the classroom.  So I then went to his teacher at 9am and asked when would be a good time to bring the student in. Most teachers would be frazzled and worried what they would do with the student and how this would affect their teacher evaluation. Not this teacher! Not only did she say we could come in at 10 am today and then come back today at 1:20 pm, she also looked at her groups and made sure he'd be in a group with a specific student who has formed a great friendship with him! WOW this made my heart happy but what came next made my heart explode!


This student has had some difficulties with appropriate behavior when he is with his same aged peers in the past, so this could have gone one way or another, we didn't know, but this student deserves a chance! So his aide and I went and waited for classes to switch and then found his seat! Right next to the student who requested he be seated near him just in case he comes into the room! (Such a sweet kid!)

We entered the classroom mid unit on force and motion! (I've got a lot of learning to do!) The student sat during the explanation of the lessons, copied down the question of the day and listened to the directions, this all took about 20 minutes or more....these fifth graders have a great attention span! All the time the student was visually checking in with us for a thumbs up or checking with his friend! When the teacher said "put your hands on your head." He did! When the teacher said "raise your hand." He did!! This teacher is so enthusiastic, which really helped keep his attention, but the one thing that really made me happy and hit me hard was she recognized him for doing the right thing, not after all the others but FIRST! Unknowingly, or knowingly, she realized this kid needed praise and she gave it to him before anyone else in the class! She gave him praise as she would any other child in her room!

Then we moved onto the experiment part of the lesson and again, this could go one way or the other! There was a group of four boys total and they were experimenting with force and motion and friction.  They were meant to make a list, make predictions, graph their answers and defend their answers.  This student's work book is pictured below!

The student received some support for spelling and what exact numbers to write but he did sound out the word bumpy on the bottom himself!


My favorite part is one of the students would do the experiment and then give it to this child to complete.  The student completed six different experiments and each time the group would always choose to go with his answer! His classmates were so welcoming and encouraging to him and included him in everything they did! One girl asked me "Why's (students name) in here today?" I said "He will be joining you for science now." I was worried about the response I would get but she said "Great I'm so happy he's here!" I wanted to cry! This child was beaming from ear to ear with everything he did! He smiled and got in line and waited (quietly and hands to himself!) to show the teacher his work! This was an amazing day for this child!  Our goal was to start small and give him just a little bit of time in that classroom but he blew us away and made it 50 minutes!!!! Remember this is a child who was in resource room for everything!! He did awesome!





What I love is that this teacher holds all the students accountable and to high expectations and she expected none less from this student! YES this teacher gets it! This child's aide is also amazing and did a great job giving him his space in the room but helping when needed and giving him visual and verbal reminders of what a great job he was doing! Will everyday be perfect just like today? Probably not, but we will sure do our best to keep him in that classroom and push in more and more!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing..Makes my eyes fill with tears. LOVE when people see the good in everyone.

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    1. I know it was the best experience ever! Thanks for commenting!

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