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words of encouragement needed to new bod in special

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by mobilemiss, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Having made the leap from secondary mainstream to eys special I'm beginning to feel the strain. I love the job but feel like I am running at 100 miles an hour just to keep still. I have 8 children 3 of whom are in wheelchairs, and 3 tas ( on a good day, often one of them is taken to cover staff who are off). It's such a busy room and practically my whole day is spent changing nappies, hoisting and feeding. Of course there are parts of the day where some learning/teaching takes place but I panic that I am not spending enough time actually teaching. It's always such a rush to get to the dinning room or get them ready for home time etc and no matter how I plan we always seem to be late. At the end of the day the room is such a mess which i usually end up tidying as I am keen for my staff to write up notes on the children they are responsible for - we have a key worker system. I am working really hard, I'm always the first in the car park and usually the last to leave not to mention the hours I put in at the weekend. Last night I even dreamt about the children's targets. Help I am feeling totally overwhelmed and am desperate to do a good job.
  2. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    Have you had the chance to see how any other teachers work? What IEP targets do your children have? Can some of them be worked towards while you are feeding or hoisting them (I'm thinking about communication based targets). I'm sure people who are experts in this area will be able to offer more specific advice.
  3. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Ruthie has some good advice. You really need to take your time, stop worrying (easier said than done) and get to know your class and they need to get to know you. You need allow yourself and them that time. There are things you can teach during the routines as Ruthie says. Sometimes just learning the routines is actually learning for your pupils. It's very different from mainstream in that respect. It is still teaching but the curriculum may be adapted and the educational aims and the methods may be different. What do our teaching assistants feel about your day and your planning? Plan to do a lot less and do it over and over again. Repetition is good. It's OK to tidy up as the pupils watch. Just depends how you do it. I have activities in big boxes and at the end of a lesson make a big thing about it being the end and things have to go back in the box. Some pupils are helped to put their object (s) in the box. Or they watch as things disappear (into cupboards) as we sing or play tidy up songs. Have you read the pupils statements carefully, and any previous records you have access to. Does the child pictures in the statement reflect the child you have now in your class? (pupils do change and develop even at such early stages. Sometimes a statement written a year or two ago no longer reflects the current needs and what is happening now) you need to collect evidence (photos and videos are great tools but informed observation is key) and asses for yourself. All of these things will help you focus on what is needed and what you need to teach. Have you got a good baseline assessment of your pupils? (eg routes for learning). Watch carefully and assess what they are doing as routines take place. Are they anticipating? Helping? communicating (not necessarily verbaly, but pointing, moving their bodies, eye pointing, any referential glances, does a particular noise or movement always happen at a particular stage? etc. Record, consolidate the skill, generalise it and begin to move the pupil to the next small developmental step Think through your day. What are the pupils learning? Where can you add something? Where could you do some short burst intensive interaction? Introduce a symbol, object of reference or photographic cue ? Can you add music to an activity so the pupils can begin to anticipate what will happen when they hear the music? (eg "when I hear Miss "sing up up an away" I am going up in the hoist) You are doing a demanding job. Keep up your great work.
  4. Thank you so much dzll - you didn't misunderstand yes i have only just started this term! Would love to know more about Prof Lacey's work and pick your brains further.

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