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Mr207 08-03-2020 12:32 PM

first year life skills teacher
Hey everyone!

I've been a sped teacher for a few years but at a pre K-1 level. I recently got hired as a middle school life skills/composite room teacher. I don't start until late august but I'm so nervous. I'm trying to do research on creating curriculum for middle school students as lesson plans for my pre K students were super simple. This is also my first time in a public school setting... and teaching life skills (it's basically all new to me right now)... I'm hoping some fellow teachers have some advice for me, the age jump is what I wanted, I just want to make my curriculum and my interactions with the students as great as possible. having worked with such a young population for years, I've developed the habit of using super simple language. I'm rambling now... any advice!?!?!?<!--eyebrow-->

whatever 08-04-2020 06:39 AM

Life skills can be tough but you
can do this. Try to keep stress managable. Language still needs to be SIMPLE. Super simple. If your students are low enough to need this in MS, some of them maybe at the Pre-1st level in academics. Some may be more advanced but slow processors. Some maybe fine academically but no social or self care skills. Or a mix of all those things. Don't assume.

I do life skills for HS and have every level from early elementary through grade level.

We still do reading, writing and math everyday. Life skills math may focus on money and time but not always. Some can tell time but not manipulate it forward or back for planning. If it takes 45 minutes to get to the Dr's office and I need to be there at 10, when do i need to leave? If I need to be at work at 8 and it is an hour by bus, when do i leave? or forward, it I start the washer at 10 and it is a 1 hour and 15 min cycle, when will it be done?

Money could be still teaching counting and identifying denimations, gettting change back or maybe more complex like budgeting, planning, grocery shopping, and so on. If their math skills are weak, you may need to teach them how to use their calculator or calendar, how to assess resources and assistance.

Reading still focuses on Comprehension but you are including functional stuff like signs, maps, recipes (or box instructions,) applications, etc. Writing is the same...Functional.

We also work on personal space, body language, self care--personal and home, communication, and more. I wish I could say that any one curriculum would hit all these but... Most curriculums that hit the most best are also wildly expensive and more than most schools want to offer up.

Find out what the others in your school are using, what else the teacher before you used, and so on. Ask lots of questions and advocate for these students. Good luck to you.

readandweep 08-04-2020 07:25 AM

Unique Learning System
Unique Learning System is a life skills curriculum that is very popular.

There are a lot of resources within the curriculum and lot of social media groups and TPT products to support the curriculum.

I would see if your new school has this or ask if they can purchase it for you.

It is all available online so once you have a login you can start using it.

You will want the middle school band (6th-8th) no matter what levels your students are.

Mr207 08-14-2020 10:05 AM

thank you
Thank you for the knowledge. I was able to fortunately meet several of my students during their summer school sessions this week. It really helped my nerves. It also helped being able to observe their level of functioning and behaviors. It was great, talked about Frozen 2 and Legos. One of my students is excited to possibly bake something in class this year. I still have a whole lot to learn and don't officially start until the 21st. Much of what you said (in regards to curriculum) is what the summer school teacher was telling me about. I'm anxious, but in a good way.

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