Monday, January 30, 2006

My brain hurts: Day 1

So much to take in that I think I must get a fairly shell shocked vacant look when people ask me how I am going... We had meetings in the morning and refreshers in swallowing/feeding from the speech pathologists and a lifting thing with the OT. I will go to a proper lesson on Friday arvo to learn this stuff with the other new staff members and my students will hang out elsewhere, I guess. In the arvo there will only be two to redistribute for a bit as my preps will only come to school for half a day til the 24th of feb. Jeez, PD already!

My room is nowhere near as organised as I would like it to be . There is heaps of junk in it from the previous teacher but as I am not sure what I will need, I am loath to move it out. I have a plan for tomorrow but not much of one (heh – just like my lesson plans for teaching rounds... lots of options, see what works and pretend you meant it that way). I do have to admit that my plan was given to me by the other prep teachers that I will be working closely with. They asked if I had some ideas for what I wanted to do tomorrow... I didn't. So with the assurances that they didn't want to push their ideas onto me and if I wanted to change anything I could etc etc. I have things to do. It also means that the classes are doing similar stuff at the same level and that is a good thing, I reckon, even if it feels like a bit of a cop out.

[I have so got to get over the idea that I should be doing it all myself... and soon!]

My OT is planning to wing it til we find out what the 3 new girls are like so I'm happy with that. We'll work it out when we know what we are getting.

One thing I learnt from today that I am getting is anxious parents! Someone handed me a pink phone message slip from the office as we went to the lifting practice. Already! I asked B2 what I should do and she said she'd handle it for me unless I really wanted to. It was about 10.30am, I wasn't feeling very sure of myself at that point, but felt like a complete wuss all the same. Turns out it probably wasn't something that I could have dealt with on my own anyhow and something even she could give limited advice on as it was the responsibility of someone else to organise integration placements for the kids at mainstream schools. My second phone call came later in the day when I had more of a grip on things but I was still a bit chicken. Anxious parent II wanted to know if it was ok if she came in for a bit at the start of the day as she hadn't met me before (subtext: before I leave my precious baby with you) etc. I reassured her that B1 & B2 whom she had met already would be there in the morning and she would have time to help her daughter settle in. She wanted to know what other parents usually did... so I'm thinking – I dunno, I've never done this before either... what I say is that we will play it by ear depending on how the kids settle in. Actually, a plan has already been made with B1 & B2 about how we are going to deal with the parents tomorrow but no need to tell them we intend to have them out by 9.30... The parent seemed nice on the phone and admitted it was more for her than for her kid. It must be hard to send your babies off to school for the first time and even more so when the child medically/developmentally compromised. It must be very hard to trust them in someone else's hands. I felt like a real teacher then, however, a fleeting emotion...

So, with that in mind what do I tell them tomorrow? My thoughts are that I will be honest that it is my first time too and it will be a learning experience for all of us; parents, students and myself. I will let them know that I will be working closely with B1 & B2 who have the other prep classes and are very experienced... I will be very positive that we will all have a great time and lots of fun together and hope they buy it! I will also be getting lots of help from a teacher who is only at school til easter as she is 5 months pregnant and doesn't have a class of her own. She was great today. I would have been a bit a lot lost today otherwise.

Time to iron a shirt and get an early night... hopefully.

OT: Occupational Therapist
PD: Professional Development

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