Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Questions kids ask....and other random musings

Okay, I was going to start this post by listing out everything that I do enjoy about the paperwork my job includes as I do enjoy parts of it though I ranted last time.

However.....I have to start out with the random questions my kids ask me:

1. Do you have kids? (I look at my left hand and wonder if there is some invisible wedding ring there that they can see....) Umm..No. I'm not married.
2. Why don't you have kids? Everybody has kids.   Uhhh...I'm too young and I'm not married.
3. How old are you?  Twenty-five (Twenty-four last year).    K: Well, my mom had me when she was X (usually 17-22) years old.  M: That's great, but I went to college for 6 years and it's very hard to go to college with kids.
4. Who wrote this?????!!!!  (I brought this one upon myself by writing a letter from "Carmen SanDiego"...didn't realize that one of them would recognize my handwriting and ask this at EVERY session)
5. Can I have this?   No. I use that with all of my students and they would be very upset if it's gone--this also goes for my mechanical pencils that I use for SOAP notes *face palms*.
6. Do you like math?   No.
7. Do you know where my house is?  No.
8. Do you know X (sibling/cousin)?  Depends on my caseload.
9. Will you buy this for the prize box.    I don't make that much money. Ask Santa.
10. How many stickers?   Two- it's always two. (Unless they either don't do their work or earn an extra special sticker)

Reasons why I love the paperwork aspect of my job:
1. IEPs are designed for every individual child. This means that it is unique to that child and his/her needs. The process insures the collaboration of the people (parents, Reg. education teachers, EC teachers, ESL teachers, PT, OT, SLP, psychologist, etc) who have an impact on the child's education & general life skills. Parents play the major role in all aspects of the process from initial referrals to graduation from services/school. 
2. Responsibility. I'm glad that we are held accountable for the services we provide. The children of today are tomorrow's future. They deserve to receive the best education we can offer to them. (That being said, there is always a risk of "hiccups" in the best laid lesson/therapy fire drills. Be flexible and use whatever life throws at you as a teaching opportunity.)
3. Data. I need to show proof that what I'm doing is working. If it's not working, then I better try something else. (This is handled mostly via SOAP notes written for every session but it also shows up in the Present Level of Academic Perfomance/PLAFF in the IEP.) It also helps me when I get new students who've received services in the past. 
4. I'm a self-professed English nerd and enjoy writing papers. (This is why I double-majored in two of the most writing intensive majors
5. I get to learn something new every day (like writing about assessing kids with sensory impairments that I've never dealt with before) since our paperwork is pre-audited. I've learned a ton from the EC program facilitators while writing IEPs. (Medicaid billing on the other hand--I've mostly learned that it confuses us all.)

Now for a handy-dandy therapy idea....

You may have noticed this little pink purse in a previous picture of my room. It's for a very simple game that I play with my younger students called, "What's in Minnie's Purse?". The purse was a Salvation Army find at $1.99 and it has been a hit. You can also use an old lunch box, paper bag, random old purse, etc. I suggest using something with eye-catching colors. 

To play: Select articulation cards and small toys for categories or naming. Shake them gently so the toys and cards will be mixed together. Let the kids pull out one object at a time. They talk about what it is that they found according to their goals. 

I keep the purse close for days when I just can't think of a great craft. The kids love the element of surprise.
You could use it for other goals as well: such as making predictions and guessing what the item is based on descriptions. 

No comments:

Post a Comment