It's no secret, I had a rough week. The special ed. coordinator found me in the hallway and gave me a hug (for goodness sake!).
But, inspired by a great blog, What Ed Said and the blogger's series of 10 Things, I'd like to make a list of:
5 Reasons I Love My Job as a Special Educator THIS WEEK!
1. Music Therapy. This week, I plopped myself down in our Music Therapy session for 30 minutes, I saw 7 little bodies completely engaged, following directions, and excited about what would come next. It's amazing what a little music can do.
2. The unfiltered voices of my students. The fact that my students say aloud what the rest of the world is thinking is something that we work to make socially appropriate. But, there are so many times that the unfiltered comments of my students and my strange sense of humor go hand in hand... like on Tuesday when I was prompting a student to fill in a graphic organizer about this bird he had made.
"What do you want to name him?" I said.
"Pee pee" my student answered.
Yep, this student would.
And while I politely explained to him that this bird would be hanging in the hallway near his homeroom and although it might seem really funny to name him Pee Pee, his homeroom teacher AND his mother might not find it so funny.
And then I turned my head and laughed. Hard. Because a bird named Pee pee? That's funny.
3. This week, I taught 3 third graders, 1 second grader, and a Kindergartener with autism, cognitive disabilities, and other assorted genetic disorders how to use the website Wordle. I thought this would be a fun way to play with words and help us make them more visual. I used some resources like 46 (now 48) Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in Your Classroom and away we went. We made locker tags and spelling word clouds and fun posters for our 21st Century learners bulletin board and, Who was the Most Engaged? My non-verbal Kindergartener with autism. Coolest. Kid. Ever.
4. On Friday when it seemed there was a gray cloud hanging over Hilton School (although the sun was shining brightly on the sunny West Side), my principal walked into my classroom around 2pm.
This is not uncommon as he does walk throughs regularly and sometimes comes in to discuss things with me during the day. He looked slightly disheveled as I asked "What's up?" (Yes, we are pretty comfortable in Room 5 with our regular visitors.)
"Can I please work with one of your students Miss Kolis?"
Turns out, boss was having a hard day too. And, where did he come for happiness? ROOM 5!!! Our Room! Our room inspires happiness!
Needless to say, he left with a smile.
And last, but certainly NOT least...
5. While making a Wordle about a third grade student, she needed some prompts to answer questions about herself so that we could type the words in. I would start the sentence and she would finish it. "Susie likes to eat..." "... cupcakes." "Susie likes to eat cupcakes and... " "...cookies." "Susie likes to read about..." "... Dora." "Susie lives in..." "... Broadview Heights." "Susie's best friend is... " "... Miss Kolis."
Wait. Really? That was so awesome! She said I was her best friend. That was the cutest thing I have ever heard! Here's my third grader who I push every single day to work, work, work. Math, reading, writing, spelling, appropriate social skills, and no you may not sit on my lap anymore because when you go to 4th grade, they will think I am crazy for that.... and you said I'm your best friend. I. love. you.
I love this job.