Yesterday was my first day back at work after 4 years of unpaid family leave. Although I have been doing a few days of CRT work during my time away this was my first day back officially. For those that don't know, I am a special education teacher. I teach at a school for students with physical and multiple disabilities. The school I work at utilises principles of conductive education in their programs and focuses on active learning. We have a huge contingent of therapists, specialists teachers, aides, DSW's and a school nurse on site to work with the students too.
I am working one day a week on Fridays, sharing a primary class with another teacher. I think it's going to be a bit of a learning experience for me. I am used to having my own class and being able to do my own thing but this time I need to fit in with the program the class follows for the rest of the week. It's also going to take me a lot longer to get to know the kids only being there one day a week!
There are 6 students in the class, all with multiple disabilities. They all have quite high sensory needs as well. There is one student in the class that walks and the rest are in wheelchairs although require frequent position changes and transfers across the day. It's a very busy class and very different to the classes I have worked in beforehand. It's going to be a fun challenge for me this year, I think! I really need to keep focused when I'm with these students as there are a couple of students that like to reach and grab as well as one who is mobile that likes to get into everything and climb. I have a student who is anaphylatic to nuts which means I need to be careful in the classroom. I also have to be careful what I eat the day before too as I can't eat anything with nuts in it for 24 hours prior to having contact with the student.
As you can see, it's busy! Even from just one day with the students I can see their unique personalities coming out and I'm really looking forward to getting to know them all a little better (even if I do come home from work exhausted every Friday!!)