My Journey Through
Since my very first day of student teaching, I have had a wonderful eperience. The principal and administrators have been kind to me and have made me feel extremely
welcomed in their school. My supervising teacher and coworkers have made me feel confident by letting me know that if I have
any questions or concerns, that I can always contact them. They have instilled a great deal of
knowledge in me and are teaching me more and more each day.
My students are all very unique and have their own unique abilities and learning styles. I was able to discover
each of my students’ strengths and weaknesses within my first few days of teaching. The more I work with them, the more
I learn about them. I make it a priority to adapt my teaching styles to their different learning styles. Because each student
has a different disability, I have to make sure I tailor my lessons in a way that each student could understand what is being
The majority of my students have never showed any behavior problems so far. However, I do have a few students with
functional behavioral assessments. These students have behavior plans for their inappropriate behaviors. Apparently, these
intervention plans are working for most of them and causing the students to behave appropriately. However, there is one student
who refuses to complete any assignments.
When I asked him why he wasn’t doing any work, he told me that
it was because he didn’t want to be in special education classes. I explained to him that if he did his work, tried
very hard, and made good grades that he might be able to test out of special education classes. Immediately he picked up his
pencil and began to work on the lesson. It really gave me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
My biggest concern is the massive number of absenteeism’s. I
have been teaching for six weeks, and I have several students that have only come to my class one time! When these students
did finally decide to come to school, they didn’t even have an excused absence. They were simply skipping class for
all those weeks! The students are suffering because when they miss school, they miss an opportunity to learn. It is the students
who are skipping class that can’t read or write basic sentences. Many of them are high school juniors and seniors and
are reading on a second grade level. It is awful.
As a teacher, I try to think of reasons why my students aren’t
coming to class and ways to make my classroom exciting for them when they do decide to come. I am attempting to make school
as interesting as I possibly can so that they will want to come more often.
In a meeting with the principal, we discussed this issues and I was
provided with a list of strategies including the following: ask the student the reason for not attending school; explain to
the student the importance of school and getting an education; determine if there are aspects of the class activities that
the student dislike; provide exciting and stimulating activities to gain the
students interest in coming to school; reinforce the student for coming to school
(when he/she does come); communicate with parent, agencies and social worker to inform them of the problem, determine the
cause of the problem, and consider possible solutions to the problem; have the student document personal attendance; and collect
anecdotal information on the student’s absences.
I have been collaborating with my colleagues in putting these strategies
to practice. However, many of these strategies are difficult to incorporate when I only see the students once a month!
My supervising teacher has called these students’ parents a number
of times. It seems as though many of the parents are allowing their children to skip class. It is the teacher’s responsibility
to keep contact with the parents and that is exactly what we have been doing. We have informed the parents and are currently
working together to formulate more interventions for these students. There is absolutely no excuse for these students to come
to class once a month! Hopefully within the next few weeks I will see more of these students.