Tuesday, February 10, 2009
As much as I love the community of support there is online as a teacher of learners with severe or multiple special needs sometimes what you need is another teacher who is right there. My classroom was in need of a new staff rotation schedule to begin after February break (yes, non-New England readers, we get a February break). Not being a sudoku or logic puzzle aficionado I was really struggling to figure it out. How was I going to make five students with 1:1 instructional assistants, four instructional assistants and myself work into a rotating schedule that was equitable and would not create issues with time in learning, toileting or behavior?
Luckily I sat puzzling this out as I awaiting the beginning of a meeting of mentor teachers. I commented that despite a decade in the field I really needed some mentoring to make my new schedule work. Another teacher, from another special needs program, who I see at mentor teacher meetings about four times a year, gave me a great suggestion, but I still couldn't make it work. Finally she offered to show me how to do it, I handed her the paper, she created a grid, plugged in all the students and staff in the bizarre way I needed it done and five minutes later I had the staff rotations for the rest of the year worked out (by the way 16 more weeks for us).
Sometimes this is what I feel I miss out on the most teaching a low incidence population, colleagues who can see and think outside the box or just possess talents that I do not, such as schedule sukodu. I wouldn't trade teaching my class for anything in the world, but I wouldn't mind having an accessible group of teachers who do the same thing I do nearby.