Saturday, September 13, 2014

Absolute Truth

So in the spirit of consistency, I am once again LATE for the Thursday Spiritual Journey post!  But here I am ready to share my thoughts on Truth.  Thanks to @muellerholly for continuing this inspirational blogging journey!

Okay, so, truth.  That is a heavy duty word!  I believe we all feel we know the truth about something..... but for today I am talking about spiritual truth.  And that makes this word even more profound.  Wars have been fought, the mass murder of millions of innocent people have occurred and nations have been threatened or wiped out over spiritual truth.  These things are still happening today!  And I ask myself, how can anyone believe in a truth that can cause such hurt and destruction?  It is not a truth I can comprehend or believe.

But I do know the truth of God.  I rest in the truth of His love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.  I find the truth in His holy scriptures, the Word speaking to me through time.  I find truth in the Holy Trinity, knowing without doubt that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit works in me and through me.  
I know the truth of God because I understand and have experienced these words from Matthew.....

Matthew 7:24-27English Standard Version (ESV)

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be likea foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

I have built my house (life) on the Rock (God).  Many things have tried to knock me off, but the Truth has kept me firmly planted.  My greatest joy would be for those who have been battered, bruised and buried in the sand to find the truth in God.  That they would believe in His unfailing love, accept His forgiveness and feel the power of His mercy and grace.  Because that is the truth!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reflection is Good for the Soul

Through @teachthought I have accepted the challenge of reflecting on my teaching for 30 days and blogging about my thoughts.  Today I will actually be reflecting on days 2 & 3.

Day 2:  Write about one piece of technology that you would like to try this year and why.  

Hmmm....... this is a difficult question.  I consider myself fairly "techie".  I am very fortunate to have a great variety of technology in my classroom.  I have a laptop, 2 student computers equipped with assistive technology, iPads, iPods, SMARTboard, and Document Camera.  So, as you can see, I am not lacking for any technology equipment.  However, I do have some technology skills that I would like to develop this year.  I am actively seeking out further training on developing lessons in SMART tools.  I can utilize SMART Exchange with the best of them, and I can design simple games or single page lessons.  But I would love to design more complex pages that could meet the specific needs of my students with special needs.  I would also like to become more versed in using Google tools.  I know the basics, but I feel there is so much yet to learn.   To any of my "techie" friends out there who might be reading this, if you have any suggestions on training, or any tools I might explore, please let me know!!!  I love to learn!

Day 3:  Discuss one "observation" area that you would like to improve on for your teacher evaluation.

Wow, another good one!  Our district has just implemented a new, fairly complex, evaluation system this year... and to be honest, I am still familiarizing myself with it.  But, I do know that I really want to look at how I assess my special kiddos and how those results look in developing their IEP goals and implementing curriculum.   Assessment has always been a difficult component of working with children with cognitive impairments, however, in the age of NCLB, IDEA, CCSS and the obsession with teacher accountability, there is no escaping assessment, even with my students.  So as I go through the school year I will be doing my research, seeking out the best methods for assessing my students and applying those scores results to my daily instruction.  I'm quite sure THAT is part of our evaluation! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

30 Days of Reflection

I'm feeling a little rusty!  In the last few weeks of August I became so busy with the Back-to-School anxieties that I did not take the time to keep up here.  Well, once again I've been spurred on by a Twitter challenge.  When my motivation starts to dwindle, I can always count on my PLN to throw down the gauntlet to get me inspired again!  So, this newest challenge, brought to me by @teachthought is to spend 30 days reflecting and blogging on my teaching.  Each day includes a question for me to ponder and respond to, right here on my blog page.  So, today is Day One... and off we go!

Today's reflective thought:  Write your goals for the school year.  Be as specific or as abstract as you'd like to be!

As a Special Education Teacher, I know how important goals are.  I spend most of my days thinking about, writing, working on, and documenting goals for my students.  But unfortunately when it comes to myself and my teaching, I fail to seriously consider and set goals for myself or my classroom in general.  And when I do take the time to think about it, I have so many that I get overwhelmed and give up.  So I'm very grateful that this challenge is stretching me professionally and personally to carefully consider my goals for the year write them down.  I am setting an achievable  3  4 goals.....

1.  To help my parents, through consistency, communication and honesty, ease their anxieties and worries about their child attending school and giving control to another person for their child's well being.
2.  To be organized and keep control of the paper flow that comes across my desk each day.
3.  To challenge my students academically, behaviorally and socially 
4.  To take care of myself so that I can take care of my students

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what I'd like to accomplish this year, but if I can do these things well, it will create an environment by which I can accomplish all other wishes and desires for my special kiddos!