Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's a giveaway!

Following up from my book review yesterday, I'm giving away a copy of Dr. Turner's book - So You Are a Special Education Teacher: Essentials for Success. After all, what's the point of telling you about a really great new book without at least giving you an opportunity to get one for yourself.

The giveaway starts today! and ends in two weeks.  Good luck to you! and share this post with a new school psych you know!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review - So You are A Special Education Teacher

When I first saw Dr. Jerry Turner’s new book “So you are a special education teacher: essentials for success” online earlier on this year, I was a little disappointed. I loved his first book so much, I really wanted his next book to be “So you think you are a school psychologist – part II”.  The first book was the down and dirty guide to being a school psychologist I wished I had when I first stepped into the work field.  The next book I’d hoped would be the next step towards giving me a solid handle on things like understanding more about the special education process and the intricate dynamics of case management.
To my pleasant surprise, despite it’s title, this was the book I was waiting for! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Time to party!

My stint as a adjunct faculty member ends this week and now I get to enjoy my summer vacation, hooray!

Wait, what do you mean I only have two weeks left?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question isn't it?

I came across this cartoon strip on Facebook/Twitter (the thing is everywhere) and it broke my heart immediately, but for many different reasons. The first thing I thought when I read the strip was "oh no! Calvin's lost his sense of wonder - curse you meds!". Immediately following that I thought "Well in light of Calvin's case history, I can imagine that getting homework done must be a nightmare scenario at home, so I'm kinda glad he's getting the help he needs to get his work done"

And then my heart broke.  It broke because I felt like I selling out all the kiddos I help and betraying my personal principles on the subject of medication.  It also broke because I felt like I was selling out on all the kiddos I know who do need help and succeed with the support of medications.

We all know Calvin; His crazy hijinks are what have endeared him to us soo much.  But what happens when it's time for him to as most people say "buckle down and get the work done?" What happens when he just can't? Where's the strip that shows Calvin falling behind at school, dealing with teacher frustration and parent aggravation?

This cartoon makes it seem horrible that Calvin concentrated on getting his work done, and ahead of time! Doesn't this cartoon celebrate all the things that we want our children to do - plan ahead? get work done when it's time to get work done? focus on the task at hand? Is that really a bad thing? Hobbes will be there in 30 minutes when he's done.

Now before I get flamed from all angles, please note - I still believe in behavioral supports and working with the environment first. But I've learned that sometimes, some children need more and for those kids, I'd like them to get the help they need, not to make their parents' lives easier, but so they can will feel accomplished.

But at what cost?

I asked my 14 year-old and my 11-year old to read this strip and give me their thoughts. Both said "aww". They thought it was sad because Calvin was growing up and had no more time for his imaginary friend.  My 14-year-old thought it was sad that Calvin was being pushed to be more responsible too fast and too soon. "After all, Calvin looks like he's only 5" she said. My six-year-old wandered into the room and agreed. Then my heart broke all over again.  Life is complicated.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Balance - what is that elusive concept?

As I write this post, I am sitting with my six-year old in my living room; I'm working on a powerpoint presentation for my class and he's watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Before he said good morning, hugged me or kissed me good morning (morning greetings are important in our household), he asked to watch this movie.

Normally I would have said no, because I usually have my children read a book, or engage in some creative play activity in the morning before indulging in television watching. But this morning I said yes. Why? well because I really need to get my powerpoint presentation done (and apparently blog!). I need a couple of hours of intense work time, so then I can be ready for class. The best way to get that? Acquiesce to my son's request today.
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