So, this has been my first week of actual teaching at Orem Jr High. I have to say, this job is a lot more challenging than my one at Riverton, but I've already bonded with Julie, the teacher in the other life skills class. We spend a lot of time talking and bouncing ideas off each other and every now and then we actually get some paperwork done, too. The other faculty at Orem have been nothing but welcoming and friendly. It's a much smaller school, which helps a lot, but I don't feel like nobody outside of the Special Ed department knows me; which is how I sometimes felt at RHS.
I love my students! They are so cute and funny. Seriously, they wear me out and we all work hard, but it is so worth it when I get a hug or a high five or a smile after they've worked so hard to achieve something. I was a little worried because these students are much higher needs than my old class, and several have autism - something new for me - but I've loved it all!
Oh, and for laughs, here's a list of things I've said in the past week to my students (Karissa, I know you can relate): "We don't spit on people, we spit in the garbage can." "Hey, that is not appropriate and you know better!" "Hey, we need to come wash our hands...what are you doing? We don't play in the toilet." "Get your head out of the guinea pig cage." "I know you'd rather sleep, but it's school time and that means you gotta do your work." "Don't bite yourself, kiddo, do you want a straw to chew on instead?"
I know that for the first few weeks I'll be spending a lot of time working on behaviors, routines, and rules. However, I'm still loving working with these kids and I know that life will get easier when we all get used to the new school year. I feel so blessed to have found a new job much closer to home and in such a wonderful environment, too.