Monday, June 22, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award Nomination!!

Thank you Erin from You Aut-a Know for nominating me for this blog award. I always get excited when people show appreciation for what I do.

This blog has been something that I've loved doing and struggled doing at the same time. I love sharing ideas but, then struggled with the fine line of what is sharing too much (especially when it came to more student specific issues). I wanted to keep the privacy of my classroom but still be able to reach out to other teachers, families, and people interested in learning more about working with people with autism. I know that I have had the awesome opportunity to connect with tons of great special education teachers that I would never have had the opportunity to do within my own school or district. I hope that I have done the same for other teachers out there. Receiving nominations for awards such as this makes me feel a little more confident that I have succeeded in that.

Here are some facts or things you may not know about me:

1. I'm expecting my second child ANY day now. We don't know what we are having but, have an amazing 3 year old daughter who is excited to be a big sister.
2. I LOVE softball. I have played since I was 5 and continue to coach hoping that one day my daughter will follow in my footsteps.
3. I have 2 dogs that are my other "babies".
4. I live in an old Victorian house (over 100 years old) which I love but, it is quite the chaos when something breaks since it is an old house.
5. I have my bachelors in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. I really wasn't interested in doing special education until I started my first teaching job in first grade and realized inclusion was inevitable!
6. I have a massive garden! We have over 40 tomato, squash, broccoli, and pepper plants. Canning and jarring are a must in my house!
7. I am a reality TV junkie. Unfortunately, I can come up with crazy strategies for working with difficult students and ingenious work boxes for my classroom but, when it comes to taste in TV, well I love mindless trash! Haha...
8. If I could vacation anywhere it would be at the beach.
9. I'd love to someday visit all the countries that my heritage is based off of.
10. I hate that my name is Jenn. So like everyone else born in the 80's. You know how many other Jenns/Jennifers I know..

Here are a few blogs that I'd like to nominate that have inspired and helped me so much!

Brie from Breezy Special Ed
Jannike from Special Ed. Connections
Melissa from The Adventures of Room 83

Make sure you check out their amazing blogs and all the information they have to share!  Ladies, if you accept my nomination, comment below!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

End of the Year- Next Year's Thoughts---ALREADY!

Haha, oh we knew it was the last day of school yesterday. We had a countdown and everything which we officially ripped the last number off the countdown board yesterday. It was a great feeling. I had a great year, a low caseload, which made me feel like I could get more involved with my students, really get to know them and tackle a lot of behaviors and academic skills that I may not normally get to work on when I have a larger class. 

It was a fun year and the last day was no exception. My 8th graders got to participate in an end of the year celebration sponsored by our PTO that was set up like a carnival. There were games, food, music, a photo booth and tons more! The best part and most popular of carnival for my students was the dunk tank. Some of our 8th grade teachers volunteered to be in the tanks which I am so thankful not to have to do. Well, my students had a blast getting turns over and over again to be the ones to try and hit the target by throwing a ball. I had one student in particular that if she did not hit the target (which she never did) she would run up to the target and push the button anyways.. The first 2 times it was funny, but then we became obsessed with it and had to tell her it was closed. 

Of course, there is the list of things that I want to accomplish this summer. Some of those things are school and non-school related. I have a weird scenario coming to me this next school year. I am expecting my second child in a few weeks (I know my timing was sweet).  So, there is the possibility I will need to take some time off at the beginning of the school year. This will be weird for me because I'm going to have to be okay with trusting a substitute and my paras to have control of my classroom and then at some point return to the unknown of how things went while I was gone.  

The other thing that is going to be crazy is that I am definitely getting 5 new students next year. My maximum is 8 so to think that more then half of the students in my classroom this upcoming school year don't know me or my classroom is another scary thought. I have done a lot of preparing already like speaking to the teachers they had this year, getting their IEPs to review, and having transition meetings with parents. It has helped but, I still feel like that never fully prepares you. 

So, some of my summer will be preparing my potential sub plans, classroom, and materials for the students that I will be getting next year. It is going to be crazy and fun all at the same time.  I do want to keep up with the blog posting and letting you know how that process is going for me as I prep for a different set of students with very different skills sets from this year. 

Also, I plan to create more TPT products at my store. Teach.Love.Autism I have gotten a lot of feedback from my buyers some with suggestions of products you'd like to see, I LOVE that! Keep the ideas coming. I plan to keep them rolling so keep checking back!