I'm a 7-12th-grade special education teacher. I teach math, English, literature, and functional living classes. My students learn best when they can understand how every standard relates directly to them. For this reason, each year we have a different 'theme' that I incorporate into each lesson like: "Learning the Backstory,” "Tolerance,” "Mindfulness,” "Music,” etc. This year, we are focusing on self-esteem and self-help! All lessons are tailored to the individual student and their unique needs. We spend a lot of time working on "employability" and daily living skills. Social interaction and personal skills have to be implicitly taught, as well as the importance of basic hygiene.
As a class, we talk through hard situations they're going through outside of school.
These students are truly like a family. They're with me for 6 years and I have close relationships with all of them and their parents (I grew up in the town where I teach). These kids are everything to me!
My students are similar in a lot of ways. We are in a small town where most people grew up in this area. However, it's not fair to categorize them into one clump. Each student has different backgrounds and ties to various circumstances that are unique to them. These kids love to read. I don't know how I got so lucky to have a class full of students who adore reading, but I do. I'm trying my best to embrace that and provide access to books that they are interested in. I asked the students to go online and pick a couple of books that they would like to read if they were given the opportunity. Below are the titles they picked out. Some picked them simply because they were on a bestsellers list or because a family member recommended them. However, some chose books based on their theme or because they enjoy the author. Look Both Ways is by Jason Reynolds. A couple students really connected with his book, Long Way Down, so they want to try this one. One of Us is Next is by the familiar author who wrote One of Us is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. There were a couple who were eager to read this one. I chose All American Boys because although this is not a new release, I have a few in mind who will love this story. We will read it as a class. A couple of students have been holding out on watching the movie, 5 Feet Apart until they could read the book, so they chose this one. I'm excited for these students to read the books that they picked.
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