A World Like Never-Never Land

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Battle just started

I feel guilty about not officially beginning teaching...im kinda lost..I was promised that I'll have a support team available..different workshops to participate in..an assistant that is ALWAYS available..but none if it is actually happening..

Right now im just assessing my students...i dont trust whats written in their files..im doing it all over again except the parts that deal with their medical diagnosis..i believe those people who assess their academic/social levels are certainly not educated..ZERO education..they have no idea about what being objective means..what is a professional assessment..what kind of criteria they need to follow !! Thats why what I'm doing is going back to my "Observation and Assessment" course documents (thanks Chris) and trying to find out the exact strengths and weaknesses of each student. But its very complicated..im being very careful..coz i never wana underestimate their abilities..or to be unfair to them..its so hard coz now im dealing with real student..real assessments..involing parents, families, the school, my students and their future.

Anyways...my students:

Ahmed is getting more friendly..he started feeling more comfortable when dealing with me (less spitting) which is a good sign..and i finally decided to give him another chance..coz I've been ignoring him for the last couple of weeks..

Hamda is still my baby Hamda..but she's getting better..ofcourse her physical status makes it so hard for her to improve..but she deserves a chance just like any other student =)

Ghadeer my lovely little assistant..ill try out using flashcards to communicate better with her..and sound out the words..so that she could stop making up her own signs!! although i do understand her signs very well..but I want her to communicate with the world as well! Everyone should see how bright she really is...

"looking forward for another week"

A Story About a Teacher..

My story has just begun...I'm officially a TEACHER =)

Yes I made my decision..I knew I would never be able to leave my students..How can I leave them after I fell in love with Hamda's smile, Reem's silence, Ahmed's dirty-ness? And ofcourse, my new assistant, Ms.Ghadeer..she's Allah's gift..truely a gift..

Well..thats just the beginning of my story. A teacher with 4 students, each is special and unique..each is loved unconditionally!

I'm not planning to REALLY start setting up annual goals for them before Eid. I'm just getting to know them, and I feel like I'm learning a new thing about them every single day.

So..my dear students..here I come =)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I really don't want to type this down, but I have to, coz I'm goin crazy.


Its not like I hate the job or I don't want it anymore. Okay I got a job offer from the Ministry, a day after i signed my contract. The offer is just perfect. A KG teacher in an advanced governmental kindergarten, teaching is in English, AND inclusive classrooms: 2 children with Down Syndrome, and 2 hearing impaired. They really want me to join coz there are no teachers. And they were actually impressed with my educational background! So finally, I got to where I wanted to reach. I know I can do GREAT at that..and I can give those children a chance to learn English better, and a successful inlusion for children with special needs. It wouldve been the best job offer...

Where am I standing right now? I do understand that I've just been there for a week or so. At the same time, I can see what kind of issues I'll be facing. No cooperation between specialists. No PARENTS SUPPORT. Not much supplies/resources. A7MAD who is really killing me. Dead section...etc.

I don't want to complain, its reality. Whats really going on. I never had a full house until this day. I'm confused with what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't know if I'm doing a good job or not. Will I reach their expectations or not. Do I have the necessary skills to continue.

Will I be able to keep a7mad in my class? Will I be able to tolerate his very bad behavior (spitting on my face, hanging onto my clothes, his crazy screams), or am I supposed to tolerate it? If I didn't, am I a bad teacher?

7amdeh, is she ever gonna get better? What can I do to a 5 years old who's intellectually around 4 months old? Am I gonna let her parents down? Am I ignoring her in class? Does she need more one on one? How can I provide her with all of that with the others present in class?

What about Reem...does she really understand whats going on? Does she know how to answer my questions or she's just pretending? Are my teaching strategies effective for her case? Or whats her case exactly?

Didn't get the chance to sit with Alyazya, or meet Ghadeer. I bet each has a different story.

I know I love special ed, I know that this is what I wana do, and I'm enjoying every single second I spent at the center. But I also know that these children deserve to be taught by a much more professional teacher. I know that very well. Its just so confusing and I hate that feeling.

I just hope that I'll read this post someday, when I'll conquer all these kinds of thoughts, and answer those questions. That is if I decide to stay there.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Silent Class--was

Last week has been hectic...well not as I expected...its just that there's a lot to think of..even while sleeping...I'm having all those nightmares related to my new classroom..

First shock: NO STUDENTS IN CLASS. Emm except for one out of the 5 expected number. Reem. She's a very silent student...the 'ghost' kind of students. At the beginning ofcourse. I barely saw her face that was hiding under her hands. I barely heard any voices coz she's got a severe speech delay. And I seriously felt like a clown performing infront of her dieing for some attention! I guess I kinda forgot what a special ed. classroom looks like. Do NOT expect much out of students.

My second student showed up on the 3rd day. Hamda. Petitte and always smiling. Horrible when she cries. Hard to find activities for her.

Now the third student. Ahmed. When I got to meet him, I thanked God for not having the three of them together right from the beginning. Although he's supposedly on a wheelchair, he's VERY HYPER. I later discovered that he just did an operation and got to walk for the first time! He moved around the classroom in circles, he spit all over, he hit Reem with the toys on the table and I nearly went CRAZY. I actually kept him out for a while so that I could astaw3eb elmaw'6oo3. I was this close to CRYING ='( Although I really feel bad for keeping him out for 2 days, but I just couldnt let him in before I can think of some behavior management plan to keep him IN THE CLASSROOM, and to make sure that he's "clean" all the time. I just couldnt.

Observations, lot of readings, books, and meeting ppl around. Thats what I've been doing last week! Thursday was the sleeping day. Friday is the thinking day. And Saturday will be the planning day.

By the end of the week, I started realizing how difficult my job will be. I'll have to get all the patience in the world, and I need to remind myself ALL THE TIME of the reasons why I chose this job.

More adventures to come!!

September ROCKS


Right after that very last screwed interview, my life has changed. Okay, well, I did have a 2nd interview at that crazy ministry, but this time I managed to regain some of my dignity and self-respect. I did refuse to answer questions. I answered like I never cared. All what was goin in my mind was ME...I..MYSELF...I didn't want the whole idea of getting a job make me forget the real me and what I believe in. Although I did screw up, but I walked out of that room with a very big smile on my face. I made it =)

Done from the stupid ministry, and back to my life. My new life. That job came out of nowhere. It 'was' the job of my dreams. It was the career I fought for in the last 4 years, but gave up on long time ago. Its what I've been reading about in books and researches, but never dared to picture myself being in such a position. Special education. My passion, goal, dream, all what I think of!! Can't describe how grateful I am...and I truely believe that I got this job for a reason.

Special education teacher. WOOOOHOOOOOO FINALLY =D I've got my own class...my own students..my own assitant!! Its too perfect to be true!! I know I've got a very difficult section --cerebral palsy-- but I AM SO READY FOR IT. I read every freakin web-site that has the word, planning to read every book about special ed at uni's library, and will ALWAYS work on my teaching skills, strategies bla bla in all ways possible..just to make sure that I do a good job at it. Its what I want. What I've always wanted.

So I got to see my class, and my neighbor (teacher) who seems really cool. What I'm curious about are my students!! I already read their files and couldnt stop picturing them or creating lesson plans in my head just to meet their IEP goals. They're 4 girls and 1 boy. Not very old. Age range 5 to 12. IQ not extremely low, just below average. Every student has a very interesting history, or story. I kinda see how Torey Hayden wrote her books , coz seriously, every one of them is special.

Thats just a brief, or an introduction to whats coming NEXT. I so can't wait for my very first day!