Friday, June 21, 2013

Changes are Coming - Part 2

As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday, I made the decision to switch to a new classroom.  I'll be honest this wasn't the easiest decision, but on some level, I guess I knew I would do it from the moment it presented itself.

For the past 2 years, I've worked with a committee to setup procedures for evaluating and obtaining Assistive Technology in my district.  While we are not a large district by Chicago Suburbs standards (about 2500 students in Pre-K - 8), we have a very good special education department.  The past 2 years working on the committee has been hard, but I feel we have a good system in place to help more students and teachers learn to use the tools we have.

What resulted from all that work, was that the district decided we needed a point person to deal with Assistive Technology, and I was one of the people they approached to consider it.  What it means is that after 12 years of teaching students with more significant disabilities, I'll be stepping into a less restrictive classroom, and only have students for core subjects.  This is a huge change for me.  I've been involved in more planning for this setup, but sometime I still have trouble wrapping my head around what I'll actually be teaching.  I still don't know exactly what instructional assistants I'll be working with and when they'll be working with myself or students.

The one part I feel fairly confident about is the AT piece.  I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me (along with another teacher, we are sharing the position).  First, inventory, we decided that we'll be printing barcodes and logging in all the AT software and hardware into our library database.  This will give us an opportunity to track and find all the equipment all over the district.  Our other big project will be marketing.  We have a ton of tools in district, many of them I would consider UDL type tools as they can help all students, but we still need to get the word out about them.

I'm sure there will be bumps in the road, but I am looking forward to new challenges, and opportunities.  and I'm sure I'll be sharing it here!

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