I switched roles/assignments mid-year, so my goals this year evolved over time. I stepped into a classroom for students with emotional and behavior challenges after winter break, which completely changed my previous focus of providing resources to students in general education classes. One of my goals has been to use assessments to drive my instruction. A newer goal is to support my students emotional, social, and behavior needs in ways that allow them to be active participants in their educations.
I have learned quite a bit about both of those things this year, but I am confident that much more learning is in store for me. After all, the more you challenge your brain, the more it grows and the stronger it gets!
It can be a tough job, but there are several ways that I recharge and "sharpen the saw."
- Celebrate the victories, no matter how small!
- Take time to relax. Meditate or journal.
- Spend time with family and friends. Remember how to have fun!
- Get plenty of sleep.
In the future, I'd like to develop more understanding and gain more knowledge of special education law and best practices so that I can advocate for my students' best interests. As their case carrier, I feel it is important for me to be informed. I would also like to someday be a special education advocate--maybe a retirement job!
It's important for me to stay connected to other educators for support and encouragement. It was so nice having my CTI mentor right next door! I'm sad that she is moving to a different school, but I have her number on speed dial. I have intentionally created positive relationships with my colleagues on campus, so I know I can go to any number of them with questions as well.
My advice to new teachers is--ASK QUESTIONS! My first couple of years I asked non-stop questions to anyone who had 5 minutes. Your colleagues are your best resource. Don't ignore it and don't EVER stop learning!