• Teaching

    Incredibly Fun Ways to Teach Poetry

    I am so excited to welcome another guest writer, Tess Patalano. As a teacher who has taught poetry to rather reluctant teenagers, I look forward to using these activities in my classroom. I am so thankful for this resource and hope it will help you. Poetry is a powerful outlet for student’s expression. As a poet myself, I take great joy in introducing the power of the craft to the classroom. Admittedly, this can be difficult. While some students cannot wait to start writing, others audibly groan at its mere mention. Others sit in silent indifference. So how exactly can a teacher start their students on their poetic journeys? Perhaps…

  • Fibromyalgia,  Teaching

    How My Fibromyalgia Makes Me a Better Special Education Teacher

    When my student asks me to repeat what I just said, I understand. Sometimes I don’t understand something the first time due to my extended processing time I need from my fibromyalgia. This is sometimes due to my brain fog, fatigue, or from being in so much pain. What happens is that people are speaking English, a language I am fluent in, and I it sounds like they are speaking a foreign language. I have to ask them to repeat themselves in order to even understand what they are saying. I can empathize with the terrible feeling of being laughed at because others have thought you were dumb for not…

  • Teaching

    10 Things I Learned From My First Year of Teaching

    Expect the Rules to Change – Learn them, yes, but be ready for them to change on you. Don’t get frustrated because the rules are actually changed in an attempt to make things better. Choose to Be Positive – It is easy to make friends through negativity, but fight for a positive attitude because it will hold you up on your hardest days. Don’t Take It Personally – People will be angry about different things that happen. This is not a reflection on you are. It may be something you can learn from, but others’ opinion of you is not the truth. Learn From Your Students – Be looking for ways you can learn…

  • Fibromyalgia,  Teaching

    Broken

    “Mrs. Auwarter, please come to the Media Center.” Called out in front of the whole school. I forgot. I needed to get testing materials, and I forgot. I want to blame my fibro, remember that it is not a big deal, this is just who I am, but I feel like I am falling apart. What if I forget something important? My body is tired. My stomach tries to eat itself out of my body. The crackers I ate rumble in my stomach. I pull a paper down and the pushpin jumps out at me. My student signs to me, and I have to ask her to repeat herself several…

  • Teaching

    From Air Raids to Active Shooters

    I can remember my parents talking to me about how, when they were young, they would participate in air raid drills in school (otherwise known as “Duck and Cover”). My mother would tell me how scared she was, huddling underneath her desk with her hands over her head. My father pointed out how he felt this precaution was futile due to how powerful a bomb (especially an atomic bomb) would be. Both, at different ends of the United States, imagined the horror of a real air raid. This made me think of the security culture during my parents’ schooling. The United States had finished World War II and were contemplating…

  • Teaching

    Perfect Teacher

    God, please help me… Be a teacher who listens not only with my head but with my heart and soul Be a teacher who sympathizes with her students Be a teacher who communicates the needs of her students well to parents and teachers Be a teacher who seeks the underlying problem by asking hard questions Be a teacher who is constantly teachable and humble Be a teacher who gives grace prudently but with an open hand Be a teacher who is genuinely kind Be a teacher who cares

  • Teaching

    Self-Advocacy

    As both a co-teacher and a deaf and hard of hearing teacher, I am faced with my students’ need for self-advocacy skills. I was recently struck by some material I was reading over in order to teach a lesson on the differences between ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and 504 (from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). When comparing how these laws aid those with disabilities in high school versus college, I came across some interesting wording: “In general, the burden of responsibility shifts from K-12 school to the individual college student. College students must contact Disability Support Services, prove eligibility, and make their needs…

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