Hello everyone,

            I am currently on “spring break”…meaning I have been abandoned by the rest of campus; I am still required to go to my field placement, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So, today is now day 4 of sitting at home. I’ve been keeping busy though, and at least I have a car – I’m not physically stuck here :).

So anyway, week 6 was pretty normal (and I had my voice back!). On Tuesday my university supervisor came to the school to observe me doing a couple sessions and to conference with Linda. Linda helped me to change the schedule around so my supervisor could see me work in my stronger sessions.

We decided to have her watch one session with two autistic boys that I see 1-2 times each day and an autistic girl who I see just as frequently. I am fairly confident working independently with all three of these students. Linda helped me to develop my plans for the sessions. I worked on the lesson plans over the weekend and made sure everything was in order for Tuesday. I was not feeling nervous or anxious at all (was I supposed to?). When my supervisor arrived on time I just told myself to take a deep breath, relax, and pretend she wasn’t there. Both sessions went really well! I can’t say they were perfect but since I have only been doing this for 6 weeks I wouldn’t expect it to be. The only places I struggled were places where I typically have a hard time; I sometimes, especially when working with the autistic students, have a hard time knowing what to say/ask next and when to move on from a topic. For example, when the students give me an answer that is not necessarily wrong but not any of the answers I would have expected I am not sure how I should respond or continue. When I discussed this with Linda she explained to me that I should not worry about this at all; it is a difficult skill to require and takes a lot of time and practice. She told me that she worked in an autistic classroom when she first started in the career for three years and didn’t feel completely comfortable until the end of her time there. It was good to hear that what I get stuck on is not something uncommon for others as well. The conference was the best part of the visit, for me anyway. When my supervisor asked me about how I use materials I told her that I usually just see how they are used with some students and modify the materials for one or a group of other students. My supervisor was happy to hear this and said that I was above where I should be at this point in the placement (phew!) and it seemed like everything was going well. When she asked Linda how it was going Linda replied by saying that she was very happy with my performance and was enjoying having me as a student. She also told my supervisor that I was one of the most perceptive students she has had. She said that from the first day I was able to pick up on not only what was being worked on, but the “little quirks and personalities” of the students; from day one I have been spot on. Hearing those comments on both ends felt great and relieved the small amount of stress that always lingers in the back of my mind say “is this going as well as I think?” and “Am I really doing ok?”.  

Wednesday this week was Challenge Day for the 8th graders – a day of workshops and activities to teach understanding about many different issues (it’s done all over the country so if you’re interested in what it’s about it can be found online).

Thursday, for whatever reason (Challenge Day, coming in right when the bell rang), I was confused all day! I felt like I didn’t know the schedule and couldn’t keep up with what student we were seeing next or where we were going. Linda found it pretty funny.

So because of nothing really happening the rest of the week (after Tuesday), I don’t have any highlights or lowlights! If I think/remember any I will post them. But for now this is it; short and sweet, just to keep up with my entries :)

Until next week,

Aly