Okay, so I'm pretty sure I warned any of you that read my blog that you won't find excellent writing here! Just me! So, Here are some random thoughts that I had to share!
Well, in my district we have to have a fire drill once a month. This means that once a month they plan a fire drill, let the rest of the staff know and then we are to practice. No big deal. Right?!?!
In my classroom of middle schoolers it usually isn't a big deal and for the students it wasn't. I've worked in classrooms with younger students who would have a horrible time dealing with the sound of the alarm and the change in routine. I was freaking out and making a big deal for another reason.
So during the fire drill the students need to be quiet so we can hear if there is another set of procedures that need to be followed to keep everyone safe. We make this a big deal that everyone has to be quiet during the time that we walk out of the classroom, get outside the building, and on the way in.
For some reason on Friday when we had our fire drill one of my students that rarely talks decides he wants to have a full blown conversation with me while we are waiting for the okay to go back inside the building. He goes, "Hey, where is that big white truck going?" (he was looking down the highway that runs next to our school). I turn and look and I'm in shock. I'm lucky if I can get him to say hello to me when he comes into the classroom in the morning. So, I answer him and tell him that I think it's going to make a delivery somewhere and he keeps on going! He wants to know what might be inside the truck, who is getting the stuff in it, and what are they going to use it for.
Of course, being a teacher of an autistic support classroom this is like the best thing ever! Although, my colleagues that were waiting quietly outside of the building gave me a look like I was nuts when I kept the conversation going in the middle of the fire drill. Sorry! This kid never talks I'm taking advantage of this and having this conversation people!
I swear on the daily I am telling my support staff that other teachers must think I'm crazy for the things we make big deals about in my class but, it seriously is what needs to be done to help my students. I'm sure at times they walk by my room and wonder why I teach at my table with a binder in front of my face. Some of you may get that when the students are doing work they will look at you to see if they are getting the right answer or not. They have gotten so good at reading adults faces that they know instantly, so I hold a binder in front of my face and teach behind it so they can't tell if they have the right answer or not and I can get a true read of their ability.
Oh well... the crazy things we do as teachers to get success out of our students! :)