With 7 weeks of school under my belt, I think I am prepared to make some observations about the school year thus far. Here are some of the things I've figured out:
1. This year has been a crash course in dealing with confrontational situations. Usually, I avoid unnecessary confrontation whenever possible. Some confrontation is undeniably necessary, but there are a lot of things that just don't matter that much. However, this year there has been a lot of confrontation that I could not avoid if I did not want to be steamrolled. But it's certainly been a growing experience!
2. I have come to the conclusion that if the school KNOWS they are giving you students with disabilities severe enough to effect the rest of the classroom, they REALLY ought to train you on the basics of that disability. That way you'd know what to expect, or at least how to react when your student does something way out in left field.
3. Working with friendly people makes a huge difference. Astronomical.
4. I have a problem asking for help, and I don't like to feel like I'm in trouble. (I already knew that.) So it sucks when I feel like I'm getting in trouble for asking for help.
5. 6th graders can seriously rise to the occasion. And one of the surest ways to get them to do so is to give them a responsibility and a little praise.
6. It's good to know that someone's got your back!
7. Sometimes, one positive incentive works better than all the scoldings in the world.