We returned to school last Monday – no children just meetings, classroom set up and handover of information. The children arrived on Tuesday and by Friday I was exhausted. Overall it was a successful week, we did a lot of setting up in the support rooms, organising resources for the children we would be working with, observing the children in different settings (in class, at P.E., during break/lunch time), reading reports, contacting parents, tidying rooms, organising folders and of course meeting the children.
I think I forgot/ had blocked it from my memory – the difficulty of setting up a support timetable. I was overwhelmed after an hour of trying to organise the children, decide on the times that might work best for each particular child and trying to decide which children would work best together for movement/social groups. There was also the added complication of working with other support teachers and trying to go to the same classes at the same time to minimise disruption for the class teacher.
By Tuesday at 9pm – having spent the best part of 5/6 hours trying to figure out the timetable- I had it completed and was delighted with myself only to discover on Wednesday that it needed to be changed – yet again. Now as I write this on Saturday morning, I’m hoping the final draft is just that – FINAL! (But I’m sure things will change again next week.)
Organising the classroom and resources
This also took a lot of time. I had unpacked a lot of my boxes after moving rooms and had most of the resources I needed however there were a few bits and pieces I had to go searching for. I’m happy with the room layout now – after more changing around with the other teachers I’m sharing with.
These are all my resources for maths/literacy as well as fine/gross motor skills. They are fairly organised at this stage so I’ll be able to quickly get everything I need quickly.
This is my library area – I added some illustrations to brighten up the area. It will also be a very quiet area where the children can go to relax and calm down if they are feeling overwhelmed or need some quiet time.
This is where the children’s folders will be kept. They will collect their folders from the table when they come into the room and bring them to the table where we will be working. This helps children to organise themselves and their belongings.
I didn’t do a huge amount with displays as I will wait until l know the children a bit better and can then decide the best things to display.
The first week is a great chance to observe the children who will be attending support. I spent a lot of the week in the child’s classroom during different lessons and seeing how they managed in different environments. Some things to watch for/take note of when observing;
- Time of the day
- Methodologies used by the teacher (direct teaching, demonstration, pair work, group work etc.)
- Does the child follow instructions given?
- Does the child have the materials they need to complete the task?
- Does the child ask for help when needed?
- Does the child continue even if something is difficult?
- Does the child interact with peers?
An observation of 5-10 minutes can show a huge amount about the child. Walking around the room and engaging with different children including the child who will be attending support is also really useful.