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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2nd Day of Class

I drove today. The weather forecast was calling for rain and thunderstorms, not bike-friendly conditions. And the idea of one extra hour of sleep was just too appealing.

There were only a couple of quotes I got down today, and one she attributed to someone else:

"The pain that a troubled child causes is never greater than the pain that he feels."

I Googled it and found a book link, The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out, but it isn't really credited to the author. He puts it in quotes as "sage counsel". She actually wrote it on the board, because it was important enough that she wanted us to remember it. We were talking about classroom management today, and the idea of kids lashing out was one key element.

The other quote, this time hers, was this:

"You have to teach a kid to function in the existing environment."

In other words, finding the problem is key, but sometimes eliminating the problem is just not an option. If an ADHD kid can't focus because there are other kids around, taking him out of the room is only a short-term solution. If that's all we do, we are cheating him of something he needs to learn, and I mean really NEEDS. The kid needs to learn how to function in that classroom. Because he will have to do it for the next n years, at least four in my case. And let's face it, that can be a useful skill in life, unless you plan to avoid going places like restaurants, Wal-Mart (I'm planning to avoid that one!), movies, concerts, big cities and dance clubs, never mind quite a few office jobs (cubicle, anyone?).

We watched some videos on misbehaving kids that bordered on corny. The way the teachers handled the situations, and the way the students reacted seemed idealistic. It's easy to imagine kids going way nuts in some of those situations where the video kids backed down. Of course, they also rolled their eyes, and used body language to show their opinions of the teacher, but they followed the rules.

A key factor was avoiding confrontational body language. A close second was mixing ambiguous and direct language to diffuse situations.

Outside of the video, we talked about ways to prevent bad behavior, both in terms of classroom management and teaching/learning.

Dr. Wintermantel comes from a SpEd (Special Education) background, with a lot of years in TMH (Trainable Mentally Handicapped) rooms. This is good news for me, as the para part of my job will be dealing with behavioral disorder/learning disability kids. I've been told that the para position will involve co-teaching as well. Fantastic. I can't believe I'm going to get paid to gain this kind of experience.

Tomorrow night we have Bible study, and I have a small paper (3-5 pages) due Thursday, so I doubt I will be posting, but look for me again Thursday.

Oh, one more thing: This weekend I didn't go to Wal-Mart! It was awesome! And I've spent time with Maxine every evening! Fantastic! I'm going to like the teaching schedule!

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A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.