Thursday, February 8, 2007


Well, after 6 hard weeks of sewing class, I've FINALLY finished an outfit. Now this might sound like some accomplishment, and it is--no doubt, but this is not the first outfit I've made. Oh,'s like the 6th! So, I'm trying to figure out what took so long. I'll post pictures tomorrow. I have to is a cute outfit! I got several yards of precious fabric tonight, so more sewing is in my future. And M is going to look so darn cute all summer long! But not as cute as Susie's tiny girl will be. Susie finished not one, but two dresses AND started a diaper bag for the newest member of their family! We met some new friends, including two hospice nurses, a precious 14 year old, and a 70 year old grandmother from Africa.

Other news in the "and other stuff" catagory: We've started our annual play at school this year. It's going great, I'm surprised to say. We waited until the last minute to start rehearsing...we perform 3 weeks from today. My co-teachers and I have written a musical honoring Dr. Seuss, so the kids are familiar with the stories we're using. That's a major help to us. We're only using four songs, so that's another major advantage.

The other interesting factor in this year's performance is the inclusion of the special ed students. Since we've gone to almost total inclusion, I feel it's paramount that these guys be included. It's important for my regular ed kids to know that the students who come in are truly part of our class and this is one more way to build that community. My newest little guy even has a "starring" role in one of the dances. I'll be darned if he doesn't already know every single thing he's supposed to do! My other kids are so proud of him.

One of my other autistic boys has been totally unconnected during the rehearsals...he's silly, flopping around on the floor, touching his classmates, laughing inappropriately, etc. But today--he was singing the songs like a champ! He still had a hard time during dialog scenes, but he's getting the music. He might need someone to sit right near him during the play, but, by golly...I think he's gonna make it! A few of my kids even noticed how well he did today. The parents of both of these boys are so excited that their children are being included in such a "normal" thing as a class play! I can not begin to tell you how rewarding that is for me as the teacher. Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't prefer to be the resource teacher for the sp ed kids.

It's been interesting to watch how the other kids react to the autistic kids. They don't know my boys as well as my class does. Some of the other kids are so kind to them. Some of them ignore them. But none of them have been unkind. As I watch the kids rehearse, I'm able to think about next year and the class make-up that will most support the autistic kids. I don't want to shelter them too much, but I don't want to put them in a class where they will be bullied. I want them to find school to be a safe place...the same thing I want for all my students.

During sewing class, one of my parents happened to be there. I had made a huge mess of M's shirt and the teacher was helping me correct my mistake. Well, if truth be told, she was basically redoing the shoulders in it. The grandmother of my student, who is from Indonesia, said, "When we are learning something new, it is important to make mistakes. The next time, we'll know how to do it right." An important lesson for me AND my students.

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