I have been teaching for 17 years. I began my teaching in a self contained special education classroom for students with behavior handicaps. We would label those students emotionally disturbed today, and we would meet their needs in the classroom. I then moved on to teaching students with learning disabilities and found my way into teaching fifth grade. Over the last 12 years in a regular education classroom, most have been at the third grade level, but I have had a year at second and one at fourth due to large classes coming through the building.
I use my special education background every single day in my regular education classroom. I have many incentive programs and behavior contracts in place to motivate students. I favor brief whole class instruction followed by small group work and ultimately independent practice. We have a lot of fun in my classroom, and I use technology to its maximum.
I've received several grants over the years to bring resources to my students. I've received the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Grant twice. One time I used the resources to fund a weekly art program for my students because we did not have an art teacher. Another time, I used it to fund 15 classroom sets of literature books to help meet common core standards as we transitioned from the basal to novels. Each year I write a smaller grant that allows my students to attend 2 field trips to the Miami County Park District in addition to bringing personnel to our school to teach about animal life cycles, ecosystems, and rocks and soil.
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