Transitions: Turning Risks into Opportunities for Student Support

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Starting Middle School

I am a 6th grade special ed teacher in central Ohio. I plan to retire at the end of this school year, but I'd love for it to be my best year teaching! My school is a 6th-8th grade middle school. We start back to school next week. We had a 6th grade orientation last week and I was amazed how well attended it was! It was fun meeting some of my new students. My special ed roster is increasing from 13 to 17-18 this year and I'm really NOT looking forward to the additional paper work!
We moved into a new building last January, so this 6th grade class will be the first to start a new school year in our new building. In my role as a special ed teacher, I will be doing one block of L.A. inclusion, half a block of Math inclusion, 1 period of lunch duty and then about 5 periods of small groups/ resource.
This group on transitions has got me thinking about what I can do to make this an easier/smoother more encouraging time for these new middle-schoolers. I think just by giving them time to reflect on the newness of it all and time to ask questions related to their experiences as 6th graders will help. But I'd love to hear if anyone here has more specific suggestions!

Donna Meyerhoeffer

I teach high school English inclusion in southwest Virginia. I've been in education for 32 years but no where near retiring! We begin on Monday working at school and our students begin on August 22. Our orientation is next Thursday and it is always well attended. I look forward to seeing my 10, 11, and 12 graders - to hear what they've been up to this past summer. I know many worked b/c I helped them get summer jobs - filling out applications (on-line and on paper), helping with role playing being interviewed and trying to teach how to follow-up from interviews. It was a job but most of my students were successful. I was very pleased that I was able to get a young man a job even though he can not read. My case load is approximately 15 students. Some are attending a private day school b/c their behavior is so severe that they can't handle the freedom of the high school. In my role as a sped teacher this year, I will be 100% inclusion. For years I've taught self-contained history classes but this year I am soley inclusion for English in grades 10, 11 and 12. I am really excited about this position this year. I am hoping to assist sped students be successful in English, which is naturally one of their toughest areas regarding academics. Perhaps we can begin a blog about different resources to help make the transition easier and smoother not only for middle-schoolers but for high schoolers as well? Surely, if we can create enough interest, we can acquire so many resources that we wouldn't just have to give students time to reflect on the newnessof it all, but make the most of this difficult time. Perhaps we can find some resources that will assist in our students overcoming the newness as well as being successful at the high school level. Let me know what you think. I know we are beginning a very busy time but if we could work together and ask our associates to share their knowledge - can you imagine how many ideas we could acquire? I hope to hear from you! Good luck next week!

[ report as inappropriate ] August 12, 2011, 12:00 am


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