It’s 11:00 am on Wednesday and I am sitting here at home on the couch. Yep, you read that right, the couch. After seven school year beginnings, this one will go down in history for me. I started my first week back to work as an Elementary Special Education teacher; only this year I brought my son with me. My tiny little one-pound son was snuggled in my belly; listening to the commotion of new students in the hallway. I lasted three weeks back at work. Walking, standing, squatting, sitting crisscross applesauce, and cheering sight words proved to be too much for my now 6 month pregnant self. At a doctors appointment on Monday, my husband and I were rushed away to the hospital. They ran tests and found that my cervix was shortening. It had shortened to the point that I was prescribed full-time bed rest. I was turning in my pencils, Whiteboard, IEPs, planner, and students for 24-hour bed and couch duty.
For the first time in my life as a teacher, I had nothing to do. No IEPs to write, lessons to co-plan, or parents to e-mail. At first, I was overwhelmed with the idea of boredom. Then I realized this was it. I was finally given the opportunity every teacher wanted. All of those ideas I had swimming around in my head but never had a chance to make could finally come to fruition. Games, centers, special education presentations, materials for parents – anything my teacher-heart desired. Not to mention all of the things I would love to make for my home, future son, and family. It was my time to create it all.
Then an even bigger idea hit me. Why create it just for myself? As a teacher and parent, we are constantly asking others to share their ideas. We share materials whenever we get the chance. And there were so many items other teachers and parents could benefit from. Why squander all of my materials for myself to use? Instead, I have decided that it would be best to share my materials. I wish I could say that I have thought of all of these wonderful ideas myself, in most cases, these are ideas that I have heard about from someone or somewhere. Some are ones my school even currently uses each day in the classroom.
I promise that my blog will be filled mostly with free materials and printables rather than the ramblings of my mind. Although, there will definitely be times I want to share with others what I have learned. As a special education teacher, I have taught a wide age range of students. There was my first position as a high school special education inclusion teacher for students with more significant disabilities (both inclusion and pull-out classes). At night, I taught continuing education courses to adults with disabilities at the local community college. Then I decided to make a change and began to teach at the Elementary level where I co-teach and pull out students for more individualized instruction. Lastly, for a change during the summer, I have taught students with significant disabilities, ages 3-5. The only ages I haven’t taught have been middle school and infants. I love working with students of all ages and all levels. My certifications are in Elementary Education (general ed), K-8 and in Special Education, Birth-Adult. I also have a Master’s Degree in Technology in Education. I am a strong advocate for people with disabilities and for the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. I have also taken courses related to just strictly Autism, an area which I feel I can never learn enough about. In addition to teacher materials, I can't wait to make and share free materials for the home and for entertaining. I love Photoshop and creating things for my own house and parities. I figured I might as well share them so that other people can use them, too!
So as I sit here on the couch, creating materials, please keep in mind that these are all free. The materials may not be perfect. But they will, at all times, be free. Each week I plan to share new free materials with all of you. Thank you for visiting and I hope that you can find these materials useful!