Thursday, February 23, 2012

About My Classroom

Currently, I work in a fifth-eighth grade middle school. In my position, I exclusively work with students with behavior disorders. These students have assigned times with me at the beginning of each school day and/or at the end of each school day. The rest of my day at school is spent addressing various behavior needs as they arise, conducting observations of students, collaborating, and attending various meetings.

I am blessed to have a program paraeducator who helps to keep our room running smoothly. There are also several other paraeducators that assist students in the classrooms and escort students around the school building. These great women (I don't work with any male paraeducators at this time!) also assist me with crisis intervention services.

  • The students that are in this room vary on a daily basis. There may be many students in here or only a few. Students can get sent to this room for one of the following reasons:

    • Frozen Schedule
      • This occurs when a student has a lot of late or missing work that needs to be made up. These students are sent by a classroom teacher in most cases and should have a pass. These students are not allowed to eat lunch with their peers or go to recess (unless all work is complete before this time). Once work is compete, these students are sent back to class.
      • This can also occur when a student is non-compliant in the general education setting and refuses to complete work. He or she may have their schedule frozen until the “refused” assignment is complete
    • Poor Classroom Behavior
      • This occurs when a student behavior is preventing him/her or his/her peers from being able to effectively learn in the general education setting. Typically, we help the student get to a place where he/she is ready to learn and complete an assignment from the class from which he/she was sent. Then she/he is sent back to class.
    • Need for a Break
      • Many of the behavior students have the option for breaks written into their IEP. We set a timer for five minutes and allow the student to relax for a while, use the sensory swing, complete wake-up body, do some yoga poses, or use the sensory toys and weights. Then we send the student back to class after the five-minute timer is complete.
    • Leveling Systems
      • A few students are on leveling systems. This occurs when a students behavior has been poor for an extended period of time. Students on leveling systems have to earn their way back out of the BD classroom gradually over an extended period of time. Students in this room on the leveling system are not allowed to eat lunch or go to recess with their peers. Each leveling system is different.
    • In-School Suspension (ISS)
      • In most cases, students with a behavior IEP serve their ISS in the behavior classroom. These students should not leave the classroom without a valid reason (about to be sick, restroom usage) and should be secluded from other students in the room. If these students do need to leave the BD classroom, they are typically escorted by a teacher or associate. If these students have no more work to complete, they are expected to sit quietly and face the wall. Students in this room for ISS are not allowed to go to lunch or recess with their peers.
    • Need for a Time Out
      • Some students behavior becomes so unacceptable (to the point where they may hurt themselves or others) that they are sent or escorted to sit in the time-out room. This situation should be heavily supervised and the incident should be processed with the student following the time-out. Students are expected to be calm in the time-out room for at least five minutes before they are released from that setting. If a student is to be in the time-out room for more the 45 minutes, approval must be attained from the principal or other administrator.
      • Any other students that are in the classroom at this time need to be removed for their own safety and for the loss of an audience for the acting-out student. Other students may be sent to the office or other teacher's classrooms.

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