[nobe-l] Hello and question

Kathy Nimmer goldendolphin17 at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 28 09:40:19 UTC 2008

  I was hired in 1992 with no aide, no accommodations, in a high scool English classroom in a large public school.  Some things went well, but because of my high standards for myself and for others, some things were not going so well.  Yes, many high school kids are respectful and helpful.  The stinkers will be stinkers with you too, just as they are with other teachers.  However, the borderline kids might do things in your room that they might not elsewhere.  I say MIGHT: who knows.  For me, no matter how I engaged kids and moved and was passionate and was fun and was memorizing names and was creative and was proactive, there were things happening I was not okay with.  I've had an aide since six months into the job.  It doesn't make my classroom perfect, but her additional eyes and ability to manage some of the tedious paperwork and passes and tardies ad such frees me to be a pretty darned good teacher.  The days I've taught without an aide are not necessarily the same as those I've had an aide.  I'm not dependent, but it helps me.  Before you knock aides completely and se yourself up in a lofty realm where you think you'd never need an aide, I ask you to picture 32 teens crammed into a room made for fewer students, trying to stay awake at7:30 in the morning or trying to focus on Shakespeare when they want to be automechanics and will never read that kind of stuff again or trying to take a test they didn't prepare for without cheating while the smartest kid in class sits in the aisle right next to them, even closer than expected because of the overcrowding.  Can teaching be done without an aide?  Yes.  Can things be monitored with an aide that could never be monitored without one?  Yes.  Who is the teacher in my classroom?   I am, without question.  And, since I've gotten great feedback and won local, state, and even national awards for my teaching, I will not feel like a cop-out for using and enjoying an aide.  Forgive me if I sound defensive, but I just caution you, whether newby or seasoned vet, to remember that everyone teaches in a different environment and must rely on the strategies that work for him/her.  An ade is not a crutch, in my mind.  I would not be free to be the vibrant and passionate teacher I am if I didn't have an aide.  And, as one of you suggested, why should they hire me if there are nine other candidates?  Why then should they hire any disabled person?  Why should we even try?  Should we just throw in the towel? I try to be the most excellent teacher I can be, and I have concrete evidence I succeed at that fairly often.  Am I less noble/successful/amazing/worthy because I have an aide?  If I believe that, then the ADA that entitles me to reasonable accommodations is junk.  I'm off to have some breakfast, and then today I'm going to lead a dynamic lesson wit the kids in a circle on the floor, teenagers, as they weigh what is most important in their lives and consider what their greatest desires are and decide whether they'd trade one thing on the first list for something on the second list.  I will be stimulating, engaging, thought-provoking, content-related, and profound as some kids will realize they'd trade their cars for the restored health of a love one or trade their priceless reputations for a chance to be at peace inside.  My aide?  She'll be watching from the back of the room, making sure no one is doing something disruptively silent to take away from other kids' experiences.  She will be filing papers, scanning and prioritizing mail to go over with me later, marking down attendance, and knowing she is helpful as are other aides in special ed classrooms, overcrowded elementary classes, the cafeteria, the bus, and the attendance office.  I'm okay with that.  Just keep an open mind, and nail any predisposition to judge before you let it get beyond a flicker in your mind.  We have enough doubters out there without creating unsteadiness among us ourselves.  Soap box is done!  Take care, everyone.Kathy Nimmer: Teacher, Author, Motivational Speakerhttp://guidedogjourney.livejournal.comEven if the shadows of the valley hide your view,You still must believe in the mountains.> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 21:22:38 -0400> From: thebluesisloose at gmail.com> To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org> Subject: Re: [nobe-l] Hello and question> > With a high school chorus, people keep telling me that I have to have> an aid in the classroom because of such things as tort liability and> such. What I mean is: what if two students get in a fight? What if> two students decide to pick on you? WHat if a student falls and gets> hurt? Those are questions I keep asking myself. I don't want an aid> in the classroom because it would decrease my chance of being employed> as a music educator in the classroom. As a chorus director,> thankfully I'll have my students engaged as Brandy pointed out, but> we're dealing with potentially aggressive six-foot-tall teenagers who> could literally crush your brains out. THat's an exaggeration, but> that's what I would deal with. Not that every high school boy is that> height exactly, but that's what I'm talking about. Small children are> different, of course. OF course, I'd have to hire an accompanist to> play the accompaniment for me, and then I'd have to hire that same> person to play parts if the score isn't available in Braille. I wish> there was a chorus teacher on the list who could explain this better> and maybe help me with some strategies for controlling the classroom.> Beth> > On 10/27/08, Brandy with Discovery Toys <branlw at sbcglobal.net> wrote:> > Hi, Some people already have a clue about what you may request as an> > accommodation. I want to teach on equal grounds, and don't think getting an> > aid is necessary.> > ----- Original Message -----> > From: "tim and vickie shaw" <timandvickie at hotmail.com>> > To: "National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List"> > <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>> > Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 8:03 PM> > Subject: Re: [nobe-l] Hello and question> >> >> >>> >> ?Brandy you dont mention an aid until after you are hired. You should not> >> discuss accomidations at all until after hired it is illegal for them to> >> evne ask you about them.> From: branlw at sbcglobal.net> To:> >> nobe-l at nfbnet.org> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 19:06:24 -0500> Subject: Re:> >> [nobe-l] Hello and question> > Hi, Ok so you say that you can get an aid.> >> Think about the highering process > you and 10 other people apply for a> >> job. you are all new to the field and > have equal qualifications, but you> >>> >> need an aid just who are they going to > higher? I have worked in a> >> variety of grades from Preschool to grade 5. I > will share some things> >> that have worked for me, but I hope some of the more > seasoned teachers> >> will share.> > First get to know your students. Know their names, voices,> >> where they sit, > who they hang out with etcetera. Then establish a> >> routeen, and high > expectations. Even my 5 year-olds have learned when> >> they join my center they > say John is here, or when they want to talk> >> they say their name out loud. > Its just a different way of doing things,> >> but it can work. I also have > assigned places for them on the carpet, and> >>> >> I have them in color groups so > when I desmiss them to things I say red> >> group and I know who is moving about > the room. I keep the kids busy and> >> ingaged. An engaged busy child is much > less likely to cause problems.> >> This leaves you with the last few children > who you may need to keep an> >> extra eye on.> > Hope this helps,> > Bran > > >> >> _______________________________________________> nobe-l mailing list>> >> nobe-l at nfbnet.org>> >> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nobe-l_nfbnet.org> To unsubscribe,> >> change your list options or get your account info for nobe-l:>> >> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nobe-l_nfbnet.org/timandvickie%40hotmail.com> >> _________________________________________________________________> >> Stay organized with simple drag and drop from Windows Live Hotmail.> >> http://windowslive.com/Explore/hotmail?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_hotmail_102008> >> _______________________________________________> >> nobe-l mailing list> >> nobe-l at nfbnet.org> >> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nobe-l_nfbnet.org> >> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for> >> nobe-l:> >> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nobe-l_nfbnet.org/branlw%40sbcglobal.net> >>> >> >> > _______________________________________________> > nobe-l mailing list> > nobe-l at nfbnet.org> > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nobe-l_nfbnet.org> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for> > nobe-l:> > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nobe-l_nfbnet.org/thebluesisloose%40gmail.com> >> > _______________________________________________> nobe-l mailing list> nobe-l at nfbnet.org> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nobe-l_nfbnet.org> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for nobe-l:> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nobe-l_nfbnet.org/goldendolphin17%40hotmail.com
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