I just have to share how much FUN it is building a new program! We’re a brand new college, and I AM the special education department (although not for much longer- we’re hiring for next year). It’s a bit intimidating, but really exciting and I’m LOVING coming up with a new idea and having it happen.
I just asked a wonderful contact in Savannah if he would come and train my teachers in Functional Behavioral Assessments and he said “Yes”- and it’s FREE! My lucky, lucky students get to learn how to do it right- from the very public school folks who grouch that new teachers don’t know how to do these things. It’s a great opportunity to link with school systems so that we all feel like we’re really and truly preparing teachers.
I just read in my friend Wendy’s book how student teaching is wasted on the young- “baby teachers” are too busy trying to survive and all of these nifty strategies and ideas that we’re teaching them are overwhelming- they have no idea how to implement them. And then, when they’ve figured things out three years from now, they’ve settled into their “way” of doing things.
I have to believe that I CAN show them nifty things and connect it to the “real” world so that they start out trying new and innovative things. I’m feeling really lucky that I have such good support from the school systems around here who are working with us, not against us…