August 29, 2013

Easy Reference Schedule

Today was my first day of school as a teacher's aide. This is definitely a different feeling than teaching, but I'm generally very pleased with my decision. It was comforting to be back in a school where I've worked as a substitute. I was happy to see several familiar faces, it was nice to know my way around the building on day one. It definitely takes off some of the newbie stress.

I am really excited about working with my assigned team this year. I feel fortunate that they are allowing me to work in all content areas, so I have the opportunity to refresh my skills in areas I don't teach (and where I plan to earn further endorsements) as well as be a resource for my endorsement areas. I'm also excited that I work with so many different teachers so I can observe multiple management styles. 

The biggest change as a TA is that I don't have any planning periods, of course. I follow my students to what we call Encore classes, which, for me, includes two different groups of Strategic Reading (a skills-based class for our lowest readers) and one section of band. 

I asked all the teachers to utilize me to the fullest, as I'm just not the type of person to sit back and watch. I really want to help make their lives easier and support our SPED kiddos with small group instruction and other interventions they need. They seemed very excited to hear this! :)

When I was teaching, I always kept a list of my homeroom students on the back of my ID in case we ever had a fire drill and I wasn't in my room to grab my emergency clipboard. Since that's no longer my responsibility, I had the perfect spot to hold my new schedule. We don't use bells in our school, so it's necessary to watch the clock to make sure I'm at my next class on time. Between a late start schedule every Wednesday and being placed with teachers who float between classrooms, I know I'll be prone to forgetting when I'm supposed to be where.

To that end, I typed up my schedule and slid it into my badge holder for easy reference. I definitely think this is easier than pulling out my binder (which I'm hoping I can ditch once I learn all of my students' accommodations) to refer to the copy I was given by the office every 5 minutes!

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