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cabrini6285 cabrini6285 is offline
 
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cabrini6285
 
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Help!!
Old 08-07-2016, 12:12 PM
 
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Hi!
I have not been in a brick and mortar classroom for the past five years. I taught online during that time. I know all the spec ed paperwork stuff like the back of my hand....

I was just given a 2nd-3rd emotional support classroom. I have NEVER taught emotional support, let alone face to face. I don't even know where to begin and the kids come next week (late hire).

What should I have in my classroom? any tips? I am SO nervous about this!


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teachsph2008 teachsph2008 is offline
 
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emotional support
Old 08-07-2016, 02:47 PM
 
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Daily Schedule
Procedures
A system for behavior management (token economy stuff)
-Positive supports
-Consequences
-Rewards
-Rules
IEPs (especially how you will document)
Medical stuff such as allergies
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d0rkablex2 d0rkablex2 is offline
 
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been there...
Old 08-07-2016, 02:49 PM
 
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I've been there!! My third year of teaching I left a nightmare situation in October and started days later in a 2nd/3rd emotional support classroom with only one full day in my classroom to prep, AND I had the flu....so you can do it!! The main things you need to have set-up in advance are routines, procedures, a behavior plan that matches their IEPs/BIPs and/or the program-wide behavior plan (I taught in an ED program that had 5 other classrooms as well), and get everyone who will be working in the classroom on the same page. If you will have paraprofessionals, try to sit down with them ASAP to discuss routines/procedures so everyone will be implementing the same thing AT ALL TIMES. This type of student will instantly catch on to anyone changing the routine/cutting them a little slack and will completely abuse the situation.

I would set up some sort of cool down/deescalation corner/station somewhere in the classroom. Depending on the maturity/functioning level of the students will decide what it should look like. In some rooms I've seen a study carrel that the student can go in to do work/just be by themselves where they can't see anyone else. I've also seen tents, sensory activity corners, and 'thinking' chairs. The most successful cool down corners I've seen are situated in a way where the student who is escalated cannot see anyone else, especially the other students. In my experience, the biggest trigger for an already escalated student is having another child even breath near them!

Make sure you have a structured game plan on how to remove a child if they become unsafe to themselves or others. It might already be dictated by your school. You need to be able to communicate with the other adults in the room almost non-verbally when a child needs to be escorted out and know how it will happen, who will take them, where they will go, what will happen when they go, AND what will happen when they return to the learning environment. There are endless ways to approach this; you just have to make sure that everyone does the same thing always. (The game plan might also vary for individual children, but the game plan for that child always has to be implemented the same way.)

I would say that consistent flexibility (kind of an oxymoron) will be your best bet in this type of room. Always be consistent, always have structure, but also always be flexible! ;-) It won't take very long for you to learn the triggers and warning signs in your students, and then you will be able to structure your classroom/schedule to fit those needs. If you see by week two that three of your kids are going to have an absolute meltdown if they don't get a break from academics every 30 minutes, schedule in structured breaks. I've learned over the years the difference between BREAKS and REWARDS. In some places those terms are synonymous, but they can't be in an ED room. A break can be any removal of frustrating stimulus from a child such as giving them 5 minutes to jump on a mini-trampoline, sit in the tent, go get a drink, or just sit at their desk doing nothing. A reward is giving the child something they will work for and it does not have to be a tangible item. Some students will work for really interesting things like 5 minutes shredding papers in the office because they like hanging out with the secretary. Some kids need non-contingent breaks to get them to the point where they'll be able to earn rewards.

I don't know your students or how they will be in a classroom, but in my 2nd/3rd room I would do a VERY short whole group activity that reached both grade levels, and then broke them out into small group activities for the majority of a subject area. I would have a group, my paraprofessional would have a group, a group would be on technology, and sometimes (rarely) a group or an individual student would be working on something independently. Especially at the beginning of the year, if you are going to try to have students work independently, don't let them sit anywhere near each other. They're much more likely to work and not set each other off if they're not sitting at a table together.

Know going in that you might not have a ton of parental/family support. I've had some awesome, extremely supportive parents in the ED program, but sadly the majority of them are one of the main reasons why their child has difficulties. You really need to be the champion and most of the support system for those students. They need models of appropriate adult support and love.

I know I rambled a lot and might not have given any actually helpful information haha, but if you have any specific questions during the year feel free to reach out! I taught ED for 2 years and now I'm in Autism support.
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