Lighthearted comedy club

WigmanSelf proclaimed “Wigman”

Laughter, it’s something that gets us through the day and makes a mark on many hearts. Laughter keeps us going, provides entertainment, and makes the world a better place. People respond well and it etches memories into the heart.

My students are smart, quirky, creative, and make my world go around and around on a daily basis. Just because they think and act differently doesn’t mean they don’t make the world go around for others.

This year, I have the opportunity to work with a group of students who have multiple and varied disabilities all together. To paint you a picture, I have Autism of different varieties, Intellectual disabilities, OHI, Learning Disabilities, and much more. Their labels don’t define my students and they LOVE becoming famous on my quotes of the day I post on social media.  They’ve been coined “the comedy club” and it’s really a highlight of my and many others’ day.

A few highlights from my comedy club that make me smile & laugh.

“Flu symptoms are sore throat and other symptoms. I’m fine since I just look off. I don’t have that.” Earlier in the day, “I survived the worstest flu of the season this year.”

“Can I get a hair head or a hair and a head?”

“Miss Hahne, do I need to have condoms (he meant commas) in my composition?” After asking him to repeat it, he said “oh yeah, I meant commas. Duh!”

“Hey Aliens, it’s a great day today.” “Great day today, isn’t it?”

“When you behave bad, you go to the depths of hell.”

“Sit back and watch the clouds go by. Relax”

“I work-did already ready. Give me my reward.”

“No candy today. I lose control. No candy today.”

“How about no work and just free time today, I’m tired.”

“Take a deep breath and laugh.”

There you have it. A glimpse of the comedy club and their antics on a daily basis. They provide the laughter, smiles, and make the world go around and around each and every day. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be surrounded by such a fun and hilarious group of students daily. Their comedy makes the world a better place.

Our students > a state test

This past week I had students ask me about STAAR (Texas state assessment) and when it was slated to be given. My first response was the month but that didn’t stop my wondering minds standing in front of me. They wanted to know the dates and whom would be testing them (they are in small group and individual testing locations). You see, my students are in special ed and this assessment creates a lot of unknown and fear for them. It changes their normal, changes where they attend for the day, and changes what they see. It creates a lot of anxiety for them and adults alike and these are JUST ten and eleven year olds.

When I was able to look up the dates, my students started to look upset, rock, and get very quiet (very unlike them). The FEAR and anxiety had started in January. JANUARY! As an educator and someone who struggled at their age with learning, this breaks my heart into a million pieces.

As a Special Education Teacher, my job isn’t defined by a state assessment. I meet my students individual needs each and every day! My job is defined and reviewed by an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and meeting the needs of my students each and every day. Do some of my students take the regular STAAR with accommodations, yes. Some of my students also take the STAAR-Alt due to their disabilities. But the STAAR doesn’t define my students or myself each day!

My students are SO MUCH more than just what is on paper and what a snapshot of the test day gives and brings. The STAAR test is a day in their school year. It DOES NOT define who they are and what they have to offer. It’s not individualized or what level they are on. It’s a standardized assessment. Just a test on a given day that is a snapshot of that day not what all a student can and can’t do!

As the STAAR (or a your state assessment) gets closer and closer, I have to stop, take a breath, and tell my students each day that they are SO MUCH more than a state assessment. It DOES NOT define who they are, what they offer, and who they will become. It’s just a TEST. To them, though, it’s a day in the week that throws their who day and schedule off. It has problems that are too difficult compared to the level they are at and it’s tense. To them, it’s a day that is not routine and scheduled like they are used to. To them, it’s so much more than JUST a test.

In a world that assesses our students, we have to remember that our students are still KIDS who have questions, fears, and anxiety just like us but they don’t have the adult attached to them to be able to breathe and process like us.  Our students are SO MUCH more than just a test! 

As state assessments get closer and closer, I challenge educators to have those conversations about when the assessments occur, how STATE assessments do NOT define what students are, and how AMAZING our students are each and every day!

KEEP CALM and TEACH students who are SO much more than a test!

Perspective through my student’s eyes

It’s the end of October and we’re knee deep into the first semester of this year. The first few weeks of school are behind us and fall has finally hit in the southern part of Texas for a few days. My days are full of memories and challenges. They are also full of self-doubt and questioning if I am doing what’s best for my students. 

My students, though, set me straight every single time without fail.

Their opinions are RAW, REAL, and really put me back in my place. They really don’t hold back and know when to give their two cents and when to give me that reality that they see more in me than I see in myself.

Perspective 4

I have students that take the imperfect me and build me up daily. They show their true skills that define who they are and use them to communicate with me. I also have students that make me proud to be their teacher. The imperfect me, the always questioning what I can do to help them me, makes a difference in their lives daily.

Perspective 1

I am reminded daily how my student’s perceive me. My students are really with it and make my world go around and around. They make me smile and sit back and wonder how I got so lucky to have them. They show me grace and accept that I am who I am. They give more grace than I give myself and are learning at their own pace and time. They also color the world with art and notes to make my day.

My student’s perspective has changed me as an educator. It’s inspired, it’s uplifted, and it’s defined who I am today. My students know I love handwritten notes and love it when I make them “famous” by sharing on social media. If that’s what it takes to make that connection and impact them just like they’re impacting me, I am all in.

Everyday may not be peaches and roses but I am grateful to have the opportunity with students who show me grace, a different perspective, and inspire me to do more than I could have ever thought I could do. Through my student’s eyes, I am their superhero and their teacher. I am someone who makes them smile and laugh. I am also someone who brings learning alive. It helps that my students build me up and think I am a superhero, who goes and helps other kids, who saves the day.

Perspective 5

Perspective through my student’s eyes varies student by student and day by day but their input makes me stop and wonder. It’s not about me. It’s about them learning, becoming aware of what’s around them, and moving forward as a student in this world of learning. The extra perspectives our students give are priceless.

The next time you’re doubting yourself or wondering if you’re doing a good job, sit back and watch how your students perceive you. It means the world to them & it might just change your perspective too.