Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our First Married Valentine's Day =-)

I feel like I'm finally coming out of my funk. At some point yesterday I just realized I needed to snap out of it. My feelings of general glumness were going to start hurting my husband if I couldn't genuinely return his smile as I walked out the door...

Class was long and boring yesterday. Well, that's not completely true. There was a lot of interesting subject matter covered in class yesterday, but the speaker was not great. But guess what I learned?!? I'm Learning Disabled! haha... it was so interesting. We were studying Modifications, which is how to modify your teaching and your classroom to accommodate students with special needs. There are a LOT of factors that can classify someone as special needs. English Language Learners, mentally or physically disabled students, "high risk" students – which is anyone who conveys characteristics that make them less likely to succeed, such as low income, being pregnant or on parole or homeless. Yes, homeless. I was shocked to learn a few years ago how large the population of homeless students in Irving ISD was. School is a great place for a child to be who doesn't have shelter or food outside of school. When a school district recognizes a need in a student, they are legally required to meet that need, whether it be handicap access, speech therapy or lack of food. School breakfast/lunch programs save lives.

Anyway... I was making a point. We were watching a video about teaching Learning Disabled students. That term also can cover a wide range of needs. Learning Disabled would be something like Dyslexia or ADHD... again, the list goes on and on. The speaker in the video made the statement that he hears teachers say "This student has no attention span! He's so easily distracted." And he has a problem with that statement because those are two different things. A student with a short attention span can't focus on anything. A student with high distractability focuses on everything! Every little noise or object or thought pulls their attention from what they are trying to listen to. Hello!!! That is so me! When I was a student, we didn't have terms for a lot of these conditions. Often times, students who struggled with anything were simply seen as unmotivated. So some students fell behind while others learned to cope. I learned to cope. I learned that I could only pay attention to text if I read it out loud. I had to focus not only my eyes on what I was trying to take in, but my ears as well. If there was silence, my mind wandered all over the place.

I had forgotten just how severe that was before I took the Generalist test in January. I think that the reminder will be a huge advantage to me when I am on the teaching end of things in a classroom.

haha... just thought I'd share that.

Last night, after my HOURS and HOURS of class, Brett and I decided to celebrate our Valentine's Day a day early. We were originally planning to go to our church party last night and just eat a late dinner tonight in honor of the holiday. We had a gift card to one of our fav places, Macaroni Grill. (Thank you Laura!!!) But after being away from each other all day, and after surviving ANOTHER challenging week at Brett's work, we decided that we wanted to take our time celebrating each other. So when I got home, I gave him his gift, which he loved (a joystick that came out months ago but that was too expensive to justify buying just for the heck of it... the price just dropped so I snagged it!) and then we headed to Lewisville to do a little shopping before we went to dinner. Brett bought me two cds that I REALLY wanted a cd case for my car. I was so excited!!! We waited for a table at the Mac Grill for just over an hour, but the hostess was friendly once we started to talk to her, and the food was delicious. It was a nice night =-)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I pray that this day is a day of celebration for those in love and day of healing for all of the couples who are hurting and the singles are feeling a little lonely.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day... =-)

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