Monday, October 29, 2007


My Day-today

Four periods of SETSS
Two CTT's
Three IEP's
and a coverage in the sixth grade.

Our teacher trainer told us to stop talking in initials. This after a day of watching class after class spend the lion's share of the period copying EQ's and LO's. "Why," she asked, "would people use abbreviation for students with a dearth of good vocabulary in the first place?'

Good question. My path through the education system has been strewn with letters followed by periods (except when they get abandoned completely and the letters take on a life of their own, like IEP or AIS) But I get ahead of myself.

I started teaching when the DOE was the Bd. of Ed. (as in bored of education) I taught an HC 30 class when LD's could either be placed in classes that were designated as Health Conservation 30 for students with learning disabilities as opposed to students with physical disabilities who were in HC 10 classes (something about a learning disability made you three times more in need of having your health conserved than someone who had and actual physical impairment like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy (CP or MD) or NIEH classes that meant you were both neurologically impaired and emotionally handicapped a double whammy.

Confused? Somewhere mid-career the labels got changed to SIS, MIS and SIE's followed by Roman Numerals. There was no point looking for a pattern that arranged the Roman Numerals and the prefixes in a logical order. (IEP objective- Name will arrange class designations in correct ordinal order correctly at least 80% of the time)

And then when we got really politically correct special ed (or sped for the lengthy word impaired) we dumped the letters all together and moved to numbers like 12:1 or 12:1:1

Except for the teacher. So today I am a SETSS teacher.
No, not a SEX teacher, Special Education Teacher Support Service.
And also CTT- which stands for collaborative team teach- not a redundancy, but a gentle reminder that I'm supposed to not just team up- but "play nice"

Unless of course, I get to take a break in the alphabet land day- and cover the absent sixth grade teacher for a period of ELA. (Oh wait-the initials have taken over in the non-special ed world too)

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I want to write a blog.
I want to write a new teacher blog.

But I need a time machine.
It is no longer 1978.
Okay, so I am not fresh, inexperienced and brand new to the often frustrating, often infuriating and occasionally rewarding world of education. I'm still overwhelmed. I still spend my nights worrying, my days scurrying and my weekends sieving through the ton of paper work and preparation that the new teachers at my school keeping asking me hopefully when they won't have to spend so much time doing. When they stop changing the curriculum- I suppose, or maybe when next year's classes have the same needs and strengths as this year's. That hasn't happened in the last three decades but you never know.

I was once in a museum with my family a few years back. I had left my then young adolescent daughters in the children's section , while their father and I perused a section that was of no interest to them. As closing time approached I asked the guard where the children's section was, as we had wandered away in the maze-like rooms. He pointed us in the direction but not without telling us that it was late for us to being looking for the children's room. "Late in the day, or late in our lives? " I wrote in my journal later that night.

So it's late for me to be writing a teacher blog. Late in the school year and maybe late in my career. But in between looking at the retirement account totals and reading the 55/25 news - I'll add my tired old opinions to the fresh new voices.

Advice from my husband- "Avoid clearly identifiable information- unless you're ready to put your retirement papers in now." (Still fall short of the 55 part)