Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Tiny @$$ Classroom

I have a small classroom. Really its the size of a bedroom. Its probably the same size of a master bedroom in a typical three bedroom house. Not a Mc Mansion but a nice sized house around 1700-2000 sq. feet. As you can tell I have given this thought.

I do love my job. And having only 5 students makes the small room bearable. I do not have a lot of room or storage. Sterilite tubs are my friends. Rubbermaid too. But I have made the classroom, that once resembled a walk in closet, mine own. I have a large classroom that we transition to in the afternoon, but its not mine.

I am in no means complaining. Maybe bemoaning that I once had the "corner suite" at New Beginnings. My last classroom in VA was pretty big, but had people constantly entering and leaving to the adjacent classroom through MY room...which given the student population I work with, was highly distracting. I feel, and I have been going to my job for only 12 school days, that this job is the perfect fit.

In the morning, I have 5 students with Autism. Which the school feels are "moderate" and some are on the "low side", I think they are geniuses. They say "hello" and "Sara, are you happy that I am here today?". Yeah that was what I was greeted with on Friday. I have always loved my students no matter what but this is just so different! The afternoon class? I have never taught "typicals" before. I also have three English Language Learners. You know what? I am not teaching the afternoon any different from the morning (minus Discrete Trial Teaching which is only 40 mins). Pam, a friend and speech therapist from VA, would be so proud of me and my language based approach that is fused with ABA. I think of her all of the time and so wish that she could be teaching with me, pushing into the class to do speech. I think of her every time I do letter of the week.  The ELL students are really benefiting from the language based approach and all of the kids crave the learning and are just soaking up the knowledge!

On Friday, we made Dandy Dip (from the Mailbox book "Beginning Sounds") to finish our week with the letter D. I did not think the kids would like it. I mean its DIP. Every child (except two who are on the spectrum) TRIED the dip. Not only did they try it, they ate it with CARROTS and chips. Then the most amazing thing? They FORGOT about the cupcakes I made for a special treat at lunch, and rushed out of the classroom and told their parents to check the student "mailboxes" for their very own copy of the Dandy Dip Directions and one even said "Mommy can we pllleeeeeaaassse make Dandy Dip for Daddy? Wait, Daddy starts with D too!" I almost passed out from happiness.

So below is the Directions for Dandy Dip from "Beginning Sounds" by The Mailbox and photos of my tiny @$$ classroom that is, in its own way on the verge of being an oasis...Minus the fact that there is NO bathroom and we have to use another class' (and I have two kids in diapers) and no sink. Keep your fingers crossed I get the furniture I put on my "wish list" to the principal.

From the doorway of the classroom.

Taken from the windows, the door is on the left.

Dandy Dip
1 cup of sour cream or yogurt
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon (I did three healthy shakes) minced onions

Monday, January 18, 2010

Off to a Good New Year

Things have been quite busy this year and we are only 18 days into the year! First I have to back track- get ready for a long post.

For Christmas we headed to New Jersey to hang out with the family. My Aunt Linda and cousin Michael flew in. It was a nice quiet Christmas. Then on the 26th we drove from NJ to North Carolina to the Outer Banks. We had a very long drive but we got there and the house was beautiful.

The house was beautiful and HUGE. The views were breathtaking. We went fishing, put on our coats and sat on the beach, hit the outlet mall and ate out. It was a very nice and relaxing trip. Nice and quiet.

Mike and I left early, on the 30th. Before we left we went to go see a lighthouse and the wild horses of Carrolla. The whole family went off roading in Jeeps and we got to see a lot of the wild horses, it was very cool. We even got to see some...mating habits of the wild horses!

We then headed back to Alexandria, VA. We had a busy stay. We stayed with our friends Neil and Cari on the 30th and went bowling with them and our friend Byl. On New Year's Eve we went to Dave and Anneie's house, rang in the New Year and stayed over night. We had breakfast at the Honey Bee, if you are ever in Glen Burnie, MD I highly recommend it. Then we headed back to Neil and Cari's. We also stopped by Dave and Valerie's house and met their daughter, Leanna. Below are some pics. That is all for now. I will be posting pictures of my new classroom. Its safe to say that I ADORE my new job. I could not be happier! It is a dream come true!