I am the mother to two wonderful children. C is 5 and has severe autism and seizure disorder. E is 4 and has I want to mother everyone disorder. I have been married 7 years and teaching 9. We have a pet dog named Cooper and a service dog named Happy for C.
How perfect is it that my Wise Decor arrived on Friday (the day before the giveaway ends) and I had a chance to put it up for this post! Let me say putting it up was pretty simple. It came with directions, but I was doing it by myself and it was rather large, so I didn't really follow them! It still went up perfectly. I was so excited to see it up. I picked a Christopher Robin quote for my little boy's sensory room. I really loved all the things for the classroom, but I just don't know how long I will stay at my current school with my son being in a whole other state. If you aren't the lucky winner this is totally worth it so check it out at Wise Decor.
This is it on the wall. It is very large and looks absolutely amazing.
I took this one hoping to show the scale better, but my room in kinda skinny and I couldn't get far enough back with my phone for you to see the whole wall. But there is about 3 feet on either side of the wall art. It is close to 5 ft across.
Okay now on to what you have been waiting for the winner of the giveaway!
Congrats! Expect an email from Wise Decor soon, also let me know what one item from my store you would like!
We started back to work July 29 (my birthday) and kids came the next Monday! In Kindergarten we stagger so I didn't have any kids until Tuesday and only had 5-6 at a time. I really stepped up my red and black theme this year. I have been slowly converting over the last few years and this year almost finished it off. I have a few little things I would like to do but overall it is finished! Check it out!!
Don't forget my Wise Decor giveaway, check it out here!
I know I said I would get better, then didn't. I am trying. I have a list of great ideas to blog about but time is at a premium around here! I did have a company approach me about doing a giveaway! I thought Back To School Time was a great time to do it!
The company is Wise Decor, they do wall words. They have this great idea for teachers to start using wall art in their classrooms. I have really been enjoying searching through the website trying to decide what I want! I will be completely honest I am getting a free gift for offering this giveaway, but I have been all over their website and I have explored the web to compare them to similar companies. They are reasonably priced compared to others and have an entire classroom ideas section! Seems to me like this is a great thing! Check out their wall words and their classroom ideas. When I get my free gift I will write a full review to if you don't win the giveaway but are interested stay tuned for that!
Now on to the good stuff! What will you win!! Wise Decor will give you a $75 gift certificate for their website! I also plan on throwing in one item of your choosing from my TpT store!!! I hope you are as excited as I am!!!! So enter below and Good Luck!!!!
Life kinda did a roller coaster this year. I am not even sure we are finished yet, but I feel like I have gotten use to the craziness and can get back to some things I enjoy (like blogging!). From my last post, when I thought I would be coming back you may remember that my son most likely has autism. We go to the doctor for all his screenings June 26. Pray for me until then, because even though I know, hearing it will be one of the hardest things in my life. This group of K friends I just sent to first grade made me seriously consider finding a new career. We came through it in the end (and if any of my parents have found and read my blog know that I loved them, we just really struggled to find our groove, but I think most of you understand it wasn't the kids that caused the problem). In fact it wasn't the kids at all, it was the red tape that is impossible to cut in order to help my students that I love. I had lots of students that need just a little extra help this year either socially, academically, or in some other way (fine motor, gross motor, family situations).
My dealings with all of these issues and with Carter did several things. First it made me angry. Angry at special education, angry with the government that thinks our funding is sufficient or could even be cut, angry at authority. Then it inspired me. Inspired me to improve myself (going back to school), inspired me to improve my school (I am working on creating several inservices for my fellow faculty members regarding special needs), inspired me to improve the community (I am still working on the details of this one). Finally it made me sad. Sad that my son will grow up with this all around him, constantly having to fight to meet his needs, sad that my babies from class will have the same fate as my son, sad that so many teachers and principals think things are okay when they aren't.
I will tell you Carter is in an incredible school with great teachers that work so hard toward his progress. He is in an ABA preschool. This is where I first learned about Applied Behavior Analysis. I was so excited to see what he was doing and how much he was learning I began to research for myself and found UMASS Lowell. They have an online graduate certificate program for Behavioral Intervention in Autism, which provides the right course work for getting your BABC (behavior analyst board certification) all you have to do is complete the observation hours (1500 WOW!) and take the test. I started my first two classes May 20. Let me say this was a big decision considering I have two toddlers (one with special needs), plus my husband and I are starting our own little business this summer, which he will be running completely once school starts back in August. But it was a decision that I had to make. I had to decide would I let doctors and therapist tell me what was best and how to do it, or would I go out and find it on my own, learn it for myself, and feel confident in what I was doing.
One thing that helps out is Carter will be going to summer school the whole month of June and Erin is going to daycare now. At her 18 month appointment I expressed concern that even though she had words she didn't use them a lot and she didn't have many. The doctor said based on her observations, she thinks Erin doesn't talk because she sees Carter communicate without talking and thinks that is what little people do. So goodbye private nanny, hello daycare. We actually found a great daycare between our house and Carter's school, plus they have an after school program he can do starting in August with a bus to take him there! Everything is falling into place, now if I can just slow down enough to enjoy it.
This summer a lot of my blog posts will be about autism, our journey, and new things I am learning. I plan to try and make things for my TPT store for regular education teachers to use with special education students, because if your area is anything like mine you will be seeing them in your classroom more and more, with very little help from outside.
Sorry this was so long and with no pictures. Hopefully the posts will get a little more entertaining as the summer goes!
It has been a while since I posted. Part of it was because life has been crazy and part is I had a lot going on and I haven't been sure how or if I should post. I am saying goodbye to 2012 and filling in blog land on my absence. I have two children, 19 months apart. My little boy is 2 1/2 years old and is nonverbal. In August we began the process of Early Intervention. After initial testing he was a 13 month old in terms of communication. He also qualified for occupational therapy because of his fine motor skills. We began in home therapy once a week with both speech and OT. In November we had our meeting with our local school system to see about continued service once he turns 3 in April. We discovered he will probably qualify for the Special Ed Preschool and that testing process has begun. Here is where I get emotional. My son is perfect and nothing will cause me to feel differently. God made him the way he is and gave him to my husband and myself for a reason. The problem is I am a teacher and I know what happens in Special Ed. I see first hand the problems the children, parents, and regular ed teachers face.
In fact this year (also in God's plan to help my journey) I have a little boy that came from the Special Ed Preschool in my district (not the same as where my son will go). Without giving out to much detail just know this year has been a fight and a struggle for me. His mother is wonderful and an inspiration to me. The fighting to get what he needs scares me because I know someday I will be on the other side of the table. Starting Thursday I will add another Special Ed child with similar circumstances. Both boys will share an aid throughout the day. All the meetings, conferences, and daily dilemmas have worn me out, even made me consider a change in careers. This years class also has two children with ADHD, speech and language delays, ODD, custody issues, and I could go on and on.
I realize this is becoming the new norm, and my son will be a part of that. I have been so many places emotionally this year. I have felt guilt, like maybe I caused something to be wrong with Carter. I have felt sadness, because I am not sure I am being the mother I should be to him. I have been worried that I am focusing to much on him and my daughter will suffer for it. I have been angry that children don't always get what is best for them in the classroom, no matter how hard the teacher tries. I have been scared about the future. I have been happy and over joyed at the accomplishments he has made this year. I have selfishly thanked God every time my daughter has hit a milestone on time or even early. 2012 has strained me beyond belief. I feel exhausted.
I come into 2013 optimistic. I know I am a good mother and a good teacher. I know I do the best for both my children. I know I do the best for the students in my classroom. I will not let the politics involved in running schools change my feelings on the job I do and love. I decided that I could not leave teaching. I have felt a calling toward special ed this year. I don't think I want to teach it, I just want to understand it better and do a better job in my classroom. I am considering getting my EdS in Special Education. It is expensive and we don't really have the extra money. It is needed for Lil' Man. So blog land here is where I need your help. Does anyone know a way, grant money, or anything else short of selling an organ know where I can get great financial assistance? This may be a dream that has to wait but it is worth looking into.
As far as Lil' Man goes we have found this great program called Tap To Talk. I am able to design photo albums (board maker only virtual) and put them on my phone, iPad, or even better his brand new Nabi 2 tablet we got him yesterday. I love this tablet specifically designed for children. If you haven't seen or heard about either Tap To Talk or Nabi you should check them out right now. I am not being paid or bribed for this in anyway. I am giving an honest opinion from a mother and a teacher. On January 14 we will take Lil' Man in to see his regular doctor. They are going to refer us to a behaviorist. We will be driving for appointments 1 1/2 hours away. I am fairly certain we are on our way to a diagnoses of Autism Spectrum, but I am not a doctor so I will wait and see. God gave me these two children to love and take care of. I feel honored he choose me to guard these two precious angels, to help them succeed in life, and to love them unconditionally. I am sorry for the absence in posting, and for this long winded, overly emotional, to much information post. I had a lot on my mind and I needed a place to say it. If you stuck with me thanks for reading.