New Books, New Plan

I was working in my classroom today, looking at my new Spanish novels and checking the new scope and sequence.  I have big plans, so I hope I can get this all pulled together. I cannot be the only teacher with this dream.  We, meaning teachers in my ESU (Educational Service Unit), are making a concerted effort to increase fluency using comprehensible input.

We all start a new school year with high hopes, but sometimes we get discouraged before Christmas. Let’s make a pact not to give up too soon this time.  Fluency is too important, even if we have trouble convincing parents and students of this.  I am lucky that I have the freedom to do what I know is right based on research.  Many teachers are not so lucky, so I do feel blessed.

I promise not to give up this year, no matter how challenging it gets.  My students deserve my best efforts, and I want them to experience that feeling of satisfaction that comes from learning more than they thought they could.

Rocks!

I’ve become involved in a Facebook group full of people who paint rocks and hide them for others to find.  My daughter and I went to a neighboring town yesterday specifically to find some. Nine rocks later, we were hooked.


We took pictures of the ones we found, rehid them, made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for supplies, came home and made our own.  



I’m hoping this will catch on in my town. It’s such a fun way to get out of the house as a family.  My daughter made a few rock paintings of her own.  The one below is her first.


#Awesome?

My daughter and I were having breakfast in a neighboring town this morning when she blindsided me quite neatly.

Bela (pointing): Hey, Mom, you need that lighter! 

Me: Which one?

Bela: That skull lighter!

(Note: I love Day of the Dead and anything related to it!)

Me: Why?

Bela: Because it’s awesome!

Me: And I am, too?

Bela (sincerely): Yeah.

Huh….

The Pain of Autism

Many people, more knowledgeable than I for sure, have posted profound essays about autism.  Many books have been written about the subject as well.  I have a read a few blogs and essays, but now I find myself researching in earnest due to a friendship that has blossomed.  Once the friendship cemented and started to grow, I found myself fascinated by my friend’s oldest child.  He, as you probably guessed, has autism.  Or maybe autism has him.  I’m still deciding how I “should” think (according to the experts.)

Some get offended if I say “an autistic child” because they feel that I stress the autism when the child matters more.  They prefer the use of “a child with autism.”  Other experts preach that parents shouldn’t wish for their autistic child to not have autism as it would change the specialness of said child.  I’ve reached the point where I throw the bull crap flag at that view.  I, for one, would like to know who that sweet child would be without the influence of autism.  It would be such a gift for that child to be able to tell me what he is wishing for, thinking, feeling.  I consider autism a disease, not a special quality.

I’ve been a problem solver all of my life, and this situation isn’t any different.  It’s actually one of the most important puzzles I’ve ever seen.  The maddening part is that I have no idea how to figure it out.  That does not mean, however, that I will simply shrug and walk away.  I’ve seen my friend cry too many tears to stand by and do nothing.

After falling in love with my friend’s littles, I have discovered a cold, hard truth: autism is painful.  It hurts a parent’s heart to watch the wall build up, all the while removing a child from the rest of the family.  Autism shreds a parent’s heart piece by piece.  Anyone who loves the child is affected.

With the current diagnosis rate of 1 out of every 68 children, maybe we all need to do some studying!

https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/prevalence