Saturday, August 6, 2011

Little Sister

This girl! Thirteen years ago last month, I stood by watching her birth. Maybe the turning point in my life that would pave the way for my obsession on the topic now. But man! I can't believe she's 13 now!

This girl amazes me constantly. She's got bigger feet than me. She's almost taller than me. (Just wait till next summer!) She's a talented twiler and a budding tuba player.

In 4 days time, we'll bring her back home to Florida to get ready for her last year in middle school. Then the next time we pick her up to stay the summer in Georgia, she'll be gearing up to enter high school. I was only out of high school about 7 months when I found out she was coming and just over a year when she actually arrived.

But it's going so fast! And she's growing into an amazing young woman.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not slacking for the sake of slacking!

This poor blog has gotten lost in what has been a furor of studying!

At the end of last school year, I was asked to come back into the classroom full time. This wasn't the first time I was asked, but it WAS the first time I didn't say "no" right away. I said, "I won't say 'no' until I've prayed about it." (Why did this never occur to me before?!) And then that day, Jeff came home with news of a 4% salary cut in his department. (We've made less and less from them every year since Jude was born due to different cuts.) Right then, I figured that God was providing an immediate response to those prayers.

As I was leaving the classroom, a new intervention process was rolling out for kids who struggle academically. I never had to bother learning about it since I was leaving. So now I am working on consuming as much information on the topic of the RTI (Response to Intervention) process.

Exactly one month from today, my first class in three years will walk in the door for the first day of school. I am going back into almost the same position I left. The only exception is, in addition to gifted and high regular classes, I will have one class that has RTI and special ed. inclusion students. This is sort of uncharted territory for me. (Thus all the studying!) I've had kids who needed remediation, and I spent the last year working half time providing targeted interventions for children like this one on one and in small groups.

I'm a little anxious about the idea of a whole classroom full of them, though. Because let's face it. My county doesn't get it that when you try to do these things, even with co-inclusion teachers in the same classroom together, you can't fill those classes to maximum legal capacity. I am confident I can make this successful with a class that is appropriately sized. Maybe 18 - 20 kids max. But all the RTI/inclusion classes I worked with last year had 24+

So we'll see how it goes. In the mean time, I have GOT to stop neglecting my blog!