Sunday, September 25, 2011

My New Classroom

 I have 10 awesome All-Star Students
For the last five years, I taught special education at a school roughly 40 miles from my house in Henderson, NC. I was originally placed there in 2006 when I joined Teach For America, and I remained at my placement school three additional years after my TFA commitment (for a total of five years).

I absolutely loved my students and many of my coworkers in Henderson, but I did not love the 80+ miles and 2+ hours in the car everyday, nor did I enjoy filling up my gas tank every fourth workday either. So when a teaching position opened up about 12 minutes from the house, I decided to take the job and make a very bitter-sweet professional change. 

I feel very fortunate to be in a similar self-contained teaching postion as I was previously,  as classroom positions such as mine do not open up very often (I teach students with moderate cognitive disabilities). I am definitely feeling some transition pains and missing the comfort zone of my old school, but slowly I'm finding my place in my new building. And I'm loving the extra money in my pocket and NOT in my gas tank.

So far I have two very helpful assistants who seem to be on board with our classroom goals and outlook.  I also have an amazing classroom space for my All-Star students!  I have a HUGE classroom that lends itself to small groups, centers and learning stations.  Slowly but surely I'm finding the most effective ways to use the AMAZING space.
(Sorry about the poor lighting, I could not get my camera and the lights to corporate).

Looking towards the front
 I have 5 computers!
Looking towards the back and towards the learning stations.
 Looking towards our Choice zone, the beginnings of our Word Wall 
& our Spelling Quiz-Whiz Mastery Chart

 Our "I Can Try" Rules

All-Star Jobs.

 The beginnings of our Math zone

 What do good readers think about...

 I have a separate "office" space that is now our classroom library
 We have picture books and grade level books to read

 Ticket Banks for our reward tickets (that can be cashed in on Fridays for prized and fun!)

All-Star Work (These are our picture and sentence responses to Hurricane Irene)

We're off to a great start! Check back periodically for blog updates on the All-Stars and my continued transition to my new school.

Kelly Anne

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I love your classroom, Kelly Anne! It's HUGE, and your decorations are so cute! I hope you're loving your new job as much I am mine--I can't wait to catch up in a few weeks!!!! (Which reminds me, I need to email you and see what Landon and I need to bring to the tailgate.)