Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Roving Day, Part 1

I generally like roving assignments. They have variety, and if one period is awful, I'm likely to have something completely different the next.

Last Wednesday I was called in for my second roving assignment in as many weeks. It was an interesting juxtaposition of classes. It made for a strange, crazy, almost typical day.

Period 1 I had a CAHSEE math class that was more interesting for who taught it. I needed Ms. V's help with a project, and until this day I had been unable to to get to her class. But this wasn't going to be the day as she would be out of her class while I was there.

Then something funny happened. I got to the room, and Ms. V said I needed to call the front office. My 2nd period assignment had been cancelled, and I was getting a prep period that day. Which meant I could stick around, wait for Ms. V to get back to her class, and get the help I needed. Hooray.

1st period was a typical CAHSEE class. These were the students who had not passed the CAHSEE yet, so they were getting some extra help in hopes that the next time they take the test, they'll pass it.

The students weren't all that into the assignment, but other than being rather talkative (which I had been warned about), they were fine. Most of them I had met in some place or other, so it was just me listening in on their conversations and joining in where appropriate.

I left for 3rd period in a good mood. (This project had been hanging over my head for 3 weeks!)

Period 3 was interesting because I had been in that class all day the previous day. So, I knew exactly what I was in for.

It was a severely handicapped special ed class. There were roughly a dozen students. Two of them had one-on-one aides who worked with them all day. A couple of them could not be enticed to do much of anything. The rest I spent the day interacting with.

When I worked with Happy, she'd parrot back what I said to her, but when directed, she could, for example, circle most of the UPs on the page on her own. Getting her going was the challenge. Then she'd finish, get some free time, and put together 45-piece jigsaw puzzles like a champ.

The next day I was remembered. All the students who spoke said, "Hi, Ms. A." They were surprised to see me again. I explained that their teacher would return for the next period, and Isaac repeated this several times.

For 3rd period, I worked with Isaac, Frank, and Pedro. They were going through a grocery ad and answering questions like, "Find something priced per pound. How much is 4 pounds?"

Each boy grabbed my arm because they each needed my help right now even though I was helping someone. I had to find the items needed in the ad so that I could direct them to them (and prompt them as to what they needed to write down). They were able to do the writing down of it all, but the finding was hard for them.

Watching Isaac write was fascinating. He wrote every letter backwards. That is, he starts his letters where I end mine. So, to him, I write backwards.

I don't cover SH classes too much. Mostly extra periods here and there. Those that are with these kids daily are amazing people, and they do wonderful things with a very different population.

While period 3 wasn't awful, I was glad to move on to period 4. Even though I wasn't looking forward to the assignment. Which I'll continue tomorrow...


  1. Writing every letter backwards? That has to be difficult to do. What causes that?

    1. I don't know why he did. The letters were formed perfectly. Perhaps that's just the way his brain worked.

  2. What luck that you were able to talk to Ms. V. Sometimes things do work out.

  3. In Australia the majority of students with special needs are integrated into regular classrooms and the aide sits in with them. Even high special needs. I've taught many any find them inspiring and the tend to bring out the best in the other students. But I will say I couldn't do it without those beautiful teacher aides,

    1. Sorry about all the typos in that reply Liz.

    2. No worries about typos. I tend to find mine in tweets a bit too late...

      The higher functioning special ed kids are integrated into the regular classroom, but these kids couldn't do normal grade level coursework. They did go out for art, though.

  4. You are right about the people who teach children with severe handicaps. One of my close friends from high school works with special need children and has a son with special needs. She is AMAZING!! :)

  5. Glad you finally met up with ms. V. It actually sounds like you were inspired by the special needs kids. You may have been tired but it sounded refreshing for you and spelling backwards! Wow

  6. That was interesting with the handwriting. I would have been fascinated to see it.



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