|View from the roof of my new school!|
In less than a week, it is the official start of school. I'm running around like a crazy woman trying to make sure everything is ready--kids have school supplies, I have lessons planned, and we have the groceries for packing school lunches. The new job gave me a heap of paperwork to fill out for insurance, payroll and all that other stuff. I have a new email address, access to a new-to-me student information management system, and a computer that is very different from the machine I have at home. I got a tour of the building last week and found out where to get copies made. I have a mailbox in the office that actually had mail in it! The little pieces of the new job are starting to come together, but the big picture won't really form until I meet the kids. Soon!
|Another rooftop view. Loved that my new principal let us go on the roof!|
One in Four Black Students With Disabilities Suspended Out-of-School
Programs like the one I will be working in are found mostly in elementary schools, but I haven't heard of many at the high school level. It is very, very exciting to be a part of something I see as ground-breaking. The focus is largely on behavior, and realizing that even though teenagers are in bigger bodies, their behaviors are sometimes not that different from little kids when you think about the why of it. We watched a video in my training last week to talk about that point (see below.) Maybe it will look familiar to some of you with toddlers!?! The point was to think about human behavior as having a function: usually to gain or avoid something. Instead of looking at the "bad choices" kids make, we look at their behavior as a form of communication. Instead of saying that a student is "bad" or has no self-control, or that his home life is to blame, we use their behavior as a clue: the student is lacking the skills to communicate more effectively. That outlook--it changes everything! The kid isn't "bad" anymore, they're trying to tell us something! The way they're telling it isn't necessarily the most effective way, so we need to figure out what they're trying to tell us and teach them a better way to do it. As a society, we seem to understand this concept with kids like the toddler in the video below, but not so much with teenagers. The behavioral approach is used frequently these days with kids who have Autism, too. Why not with teenagers--the most historically misunderstood people on the planet? My new job involves trying to figure out the function of teenaged behavior and teaching more appropriate ways for teens to communicate. Does this make sense to you? I hope so. It is exciting and different and challenging and cutting edge... I am not sure how it will go, but I am looking forward to finding out!
Here's the video from my training. Can you tell what this toddler is trying to gain or avoid through his behavior? (Watch! It's pretty humorously obvious :D)