Friday, April 27, 2012

What do you teach? Linky Party

I absolutely LOVE the students I have the privilege of teaching. I believe that all children are capable of learning and growing into productive members of society.  In my class, as in every special education class that I know about, the children MUST be explicitly taught skills that other children learn naturally.  I thought it would be interesting for all of us "special" teachers to make a list of skills we teach on a daily basis that will never be on any standardized test, but are essential for our kids to grow.  (General ed teachers, you are welcome to participate as well!)  I have many good friends who are general education teachers, but many of them truly do not understand what goes on in my class on a daily basis.

Here's my list:

  1. how to tie shoes (all students up through 5th grade)
  2. how to walk up and/or down steps so you don't fall/trip/step on the person in front of you
  3. how to walk in a line
  4. how to use the bathroom independently
  5. how to shower/bathe at home so the other kids do not harass them because of body odor
  6. when it is appropriate to scratch/adjust your underclothes
  7. how to brush your teeth
  8. how to ask for help
  9. look at the person who is talking to you
  10. how to make friends
  11. how to have an appropriate conversation with peers/adults
  12. how to blow your nose
  13. how to move through the building and find where you are going
  14. following directions
  15. how to wait for your turn
  16. how to handle frustration
  17. how to handle disappointing situations
  18. how to handle changes in schedule
  19. what is appropriate behavior in special programs/field trips 
  20. how to maintain appropriate behavior when mad/sad/happy/excited
  21. how to handle new situations
  22. how to deal with people in costumes and other super scary people
  23. how to handle fire drills/tornado drills/ and any other unexpected drill 
  24. how to stay with the group during a field trip
  25. what to do when you get lost on a field trip 
  26. what to do when you get lost in the school building
  27. how to let others know they are annoying you in an appropriate manner
  28. what clothing is appropriate for the weather 
  29. what clothing is appropriate for your age/body/gender
  30. what to do in an emergency at home/school/in public places
  31. how to call 911 and when it's appropriate
  32. how to pay attention to what is going on around you
  33. look in front of you when you are walking so you don't run into doors/walls/people
  34. table manners
  35. fine motor skills
  36. gross motor skills
  37. using logic and reason to figure out common problems
  38. understanding that other people have feelings
  39. understanding other people's perspective
  40. why we have to keep working when everything is so hard

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  1. What a great idea! I am still working on my blog and still trying to find time to make it what I want it to be. In case no one has told you lately, you are appreciated for all the things you teach your students. It takes special and strong people to be in special education. I did not plan to teach special education, but have come to learn I am great at my job even though I am frustrated 80% of the time.

    1. I understand your feelings. It's hard to feel like you've done enough for your students. I know I always second guess myself and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching and trying to learn as many different methods/tools so that I am better able to help my students. Thanks for the kind words! You too, are very much appreciated! :-)

  2. I don't have a blog yet, so I can't link up... but I am a Special Education teacher that teaches all of the things that you said above. A few other things that I thought of that I have taught are (and I may have just missed them in your list):
    how to put on deodorant, how to initiate conversations, organization skills, how to set goals, the reasons why we set goals, how to wash their hands (could go with your bathroom procedures), how to use fidget toys and sensory areas to calm yourself, calming and sensory strategies, personal space, and I'm sure I could keep going!! Definitely a lot to teach each and every day... and different for every child!

  3. Great linky party!

    How do you teach how to blow your nose??? My kids just Do. Not. Get. It. lol


    1. Thanks so much for linking up!! We model how to hold the tissue and where to place it on your face. After we make sure they are properly covered, we instruct, "Blow! Blow! Blow!" until it sounds like they are finished. Then we have to model how to wipe all of the snot off your nose/lip area without getting it all over your face. If you are really brave, you can get the kid to practice blowing things with their nose (only when they are not sick/stuffy) such as a candle or straw near the nostril. Have them blow out of their nose while holding the straw over a bowl of water so they can see the water move if they are doing it correctly! It actually takes a long time to get it. I have also found that students who have ear problems are more likely to have a hard time learning to blow. When you have ear issues and your nose is stuffy, it can hurt like crazy when you blow.

    2. Thanks, Karla! My kids can hold the tissue, cover, and's the blowing they can't do. They either blow with their mouth instead of nose, or do nothing at all. I think I'm brave enough to try your idea of practicing blowing things with their nose...after cold season is through, of course!


  4. What a great linky! Thanks for hosting! :) I just added my link!

    Brie @ BreezyPinkDaisies

  5. I just saw this list and I realize that I am way late, but I LOVE it! It is so true! What a great idea for a linky party!


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