* Reflections on two months

(That is a dreadful image to start an 8 second clip!  Yikes! The first one had closed eyes, so I am two-and-done.  Plus, I just got rid of some malware that had fastened onto this post.)

Today marks the two month anniversary of my blog! Whoopee!  Here’s what I have learned:

1.  Blogging is not for wimps!  I end up doing a lot of my posting late in the day when I sometimes want to flake out.  It also takes a lot of time to read and comment on blogs I follow; I’m finding that more difficult as I acquire more sites to read.   Fortunately, I am a speedy writer and reader, so writing a blog is a good fit.

2.  “Technology is great but cannot be trusted.”  (That’s a quote from a technology specialist at a school where I taught).   About three weeks ago, my computer became paralyzed and had to be replaced; it was four years old and had served me well.  I am now using a bigger, monster computer!  I have learned to save my drafts, because I’ve accidentally tapped some odd button that whips me away from my blog, eliminating the draft forever.  I was once on the last sentence!

3.  Bloggers are interesting and talented folks.  The art, poetry, stories, photography, and touching anecdotes are compelling and thought-provoking.  Bloggers invite you into their hearts and minds.

4.  Blogger are so kind!  I am amazed that virtual strangers will take the time to comment on posts and encourage others.  When I go to another site, I might be 20th in line to reply to someone’s questions.  I love that!

5.  I do need to keep track of my frequent statement, “More on that later.”  I still haven’t organized a system for remembering what I plan to write about next.  My posting tends to get rather ADHD, bouncing around from topic to topic.  I am also wondering if this theme is user-friendly for the number of posts I have made.  I love Nerd In The Brain‘s theme, which looks like an organized classroom.  This endless chalkboard may not be so endless.  I guess I could ask a theme wrangler.

6.  I love blogging!  Golly, when WordPress announced some job openings, I actually checked out the possibilities!  Sometimes I find myself composing a blog as I drive home.  My family jokes about how much I blog, although my husband remains SO supportive.  Thank you, sweetie!

Thank you, dear readers, for making this a special adventure!

* What It’s Not

Great perspective on what inclusion is and isn’t. I especially like her “three things you need to have.” Read on for more!

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Inclusion is a funny thing that seems to mean all sorts of different things to different people, so I thought I’d put together a list for those of us who have special people in their lives, be that professionally or personally; you know those people who find it difficult to learn things or have specific disabilities.

  1. It’s not saying that everyone is welcome and then being flummoxed as to what to do with them when they turn up and sticking them in a corner or out in the corridor with a Special Helper and a box of cars or an iPad.
  2. It’s not having the exact same expectations for them as for the rest of the class/group, all in the name of aspiration.
  3. It’s not letting them get away with whatever they please because, aww, look at them, they haven’t got much, or they can’t understand, or they can’t process…

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* Reflections #2

 

This is my 18th day on WordPress!  My blog feels like a real place to me now.   So do other folk’s blogs.   It’s like I’ve moved to a great neighborhood with people who take time to say hi.  I continue to squeal with delight when I see flags from all over the world on my stats page.  Yes, I still check my stats at least three or four times a day (that’s down from every ten minutes).  I actually trash some of my drafts now.  I’ve written so much (or my memory is so sketchy)  that I’ll have to start a system for remembering in what posts I added “More on that later.”   I just figured out how to “claim” my blog on Bloglovin, thanks to a WordPress post by Michelle W. And in the past few hours, I learned how to add a Bloglovin icon instead of those words at the top of each post.   I’m making my way through the Daily Post tips and downloaded a free ebook,  I love this new experience and am thrilled to be a part of an online community.   Thanks for all your kind comments and encouragement.

Any other words of wisdom?  I’d love to hear from my neighbors!

* Grateful for small mercies

To respond to the Daily Post’s prompt: How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

I was a teacher in a district where elementary kids were standing at bus stops in the dark during the winter months.  I had the bittersweet pleasure of watching the sun rise next to the school roof.  Sometimes, as the sky was transformed into glowing colors, my heart was also transformed.  My grouchiness about rising so very early was exchanged for gratitude: I get to see the dawning of a new day! I get to see lives changed! I get to spend my days doing what I love!   Other days, I clung to my whining complaints and only shed them when I saw the kids walking or running into school, their faces as bright and beautiful as the dawn.

* How best to talk to Aspies

Robert Loves pi says it well: “These phrases, and questions, are likely to confuse people with Asperger’s. Unless confusing us is your goal (and why would you want to do that?), please consider alternate wordings.”

RobertLovesPi.net

confusion

Throughout this post, I will refer to people with Asperger’s as “Aspies.” This is not considered a derogatory term; it’s simply how we refer to ourselves.

First, we are not stupid. We also are not trying to be difficult when we say we don’t understand you. We don’t have a disease, and the vast majority of us would refuse a “cure,” if one were discovered, for such a development would be seen by many of us, myself included, as an attempt to commit genocide. Like other groups of people, we want to stay alive, as individuals, and as a culture.

We are, however, different from most people. Our brains are hard-wired in ways that are not typical, with the result that we do not think in the same manner as others. These differences give us certain advantages which we value, but the trade-off comes in the form of problems involving…

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* Reflections #2

By the numbers, it’s day 11 in my bogging adventure and this is my 35th post.  What fun!   Here’s what I have learned:

  • As a species, bloggers are really kind.  They encourage one another, take the time to read what others write, and comprise a HUGE library of voices, images, events, ideas, and everyday life.
  • WordPress makes it easy to blog.  There’s even a little tab that pops up once in while to see if I need help.  I’m not sure what triggers that, but I feel supported.
  • I am too focused on my stats.  I watch those blue boxes rise and fall, fall, fall.  Then I fret, fret, fret.
  • I am too focused on my stats.  That prompts me to remember why I am doing this: I’d like to contribute to the wonderful world of special education.
  • I am so grateful to be in special education.  It is the perfect fit for me!
  • Blogging enables me to communicate with folks from all over the place.  I love that!  I love looking at the flags from all the countries where people have read this blog.  It’s my vicarious world traveling.
  • I have a new definition of “slug.”   Thanks, WordPress.
  • My husband is wondering if this is a good idea.
  • I am drawn to blogging instead of Spider Solitaire.  I think that’s probably good.
  • Blogging is not what I had imagined.  I thought it was going to be impossibly difficult, but it’s a delight.

Can you tell me: What is it like to have blogged for a month?  A year?  What have you learned through your blogging experiences?

* About me

Gravatar

I am a semi-retired special educator with 45+ years experience. Yes, that makes me pretty old and I was probably teaching long before many of you were born. I always wanted to be a teacher, probably because I had some amazing and loving teachers myself. I have taught kids with a wide variety of disabilities, primarily in the public school system at the elementary level. My specialties are reading and social skills. Have you heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success?” Gladwell summarizes research that suggests it takes at least 10,000 hours to develop expertise in some field. That makes me appreciate all those long hours at school when I start to feel old and creaky. I hope you enjoy this site as much I enjoy sharing it.

* My dearest widower

My husband of 42 years and best friend for 45 (yes, I had to use a calculator) now declares himself a Blogging Widower.  He just came out here, where I am hunched over my computer, gave me a kiss, and announced his new status.  He’s been a Teacher Widower for 41 years, so this is not an entirely new role for him.   You would love him if you met him.  All my students who have met him always ask when he’s coming back.  He has made many runs to school when I frantically ask him to bring my lunch, that file folder, my purse, the materials I need RIGHT NOW to teach, my phone, and my planner (for all the good that has done me).  He’s also made trips to school when I have taken his house and office keys to work; fortunately, he keeps his car keys in a separate place.

He writes a lot for his job but it’s slow going.  First of all, he has really hard stuff to write.  Second, he’s a perfectionist about that first paragraph.  I agree that the first paragraph is important, but I’ve suggested he skip it and “just” start writing.  But my husband is careful and precise and analytical.  When he finishes something, it’s a jewel.  My writing feels more like what you get out of a rock tumbler.  A teaching tip: don’t tumble rocks in your class.   It’s a lot like having a cement mixer parked in the room.  There are no fumes but you can’t be heard above the rumble.  And after all that racket, the outcome can be pure misery.  Imagine the eager faces of kids who are waiting for huge, shiny gems to pocket, when their rocks and minerals have crumbled into dust.  And the more paranoid ones think I have taken the diamonds out for myself.  But who said there are no riches in teaching?