I finally an starting teaching and I got a job in an applied/ life skills class. Do you know anyone who has teaching materials, puzzles or anything that would make the year a bit easier? I've looked at teachers pay teachers and got a few things. Keep in mind, money isn't flowing yet. Lol
After I had taught a few years, we had a class on discipline one summer before school started. How you start your year will determine how the rest of your year will go. Let them know you are in charge. Let them know you do what you say your are going to do. If you tell a student that you are going to hang him by his toes if he does x,y,z again, you better have the rope. You are their teacher, not their buddy. I'm sure the teaching education you receive these days is completely different than what I got in the 70"s, but that is one thing I wish they had reinforced. Good Luck
It is true people don't dress for success. I am always amazed at how people are dressed with I go into a business. I always tell my kids, dress for the job you want, not the one you are doing. My mom was an executive secretary for years. Her boss would always get upset, because people would come in and assume my mother was in charge. It was the way they were dressed.
Different schools and districts have different expectations as far as what you wear.
You said you are teaching middle school life skills.That is special education for kids that can have profound disabilities , correct?
If that is the case you are probably going to be doing some physical assisting. Although you will have an aide or two you will still could be doing things like feeding, toileting,etc. In that situation I would think nice jeans and modest shirts, nice sneakers would be appropriate.
As far as puzzles etc I would think that you will be looking at items that are somewhat age appropriate despite the developmental levels of the students. For example the game Jenga or connect 4 would be better than a juvenile puzzle.You can probably find these used on eBay or even bookoo here.
Since you are preparing students for the skills they need for life I would try to make activities that apply to what they will need, even if that might not be a totally independent life.
I am sure there are many resources on the internet but off the top of my head I would start collecting store coupons for math lessons involving math activities. The students could cut them out (fine motor) and sort them by amount off .
A lot of materials can be purchased at dollar stores. Look up ideas for independent work stations at TEACCH. It will give you a lot of good Ideas for making simple but practical work jobs that can be applied to the world of work.
Also check out Pinterest. Lots of teachers post ideas there for things you can make yourself.
Did you major in special education or are you alternative certified?
You should be able to team up with the other SPED teachers during the 2 week period prior to first day of instruction. Middle school life skills kids are challenging, but, like any kid, they will have a sense of whether you're taking charge or not. If you don't do this the very first day, you can have a behavior problem the rest of the year. In my school, teachers literally have about two hours the first day to establish the classroom environment, or else classroom management is ineffective for the remainder of the year.
Talk to the other teachers about what they wear. Humble ISD is usually pretty lax, especially for SPED teachers that are doing physical work. Make sure you get to know the parents, hopefully they are loving, caring and involved. Yes, it makes your job harder if they are negligent or abusive, but we always do what's best for the child, not to mention all the federal laws covering all aspects of Special Education.
There are LOTS of resources online - make the best of the time you have left to prepare. Don't forget to read about relating with your paras. You should have at least two in your room.
Best of luck to you - the first year is always the hardest. If you need help, ask those around you, and don't be shy.