So this week you will have the privilege (yes, I said privilege!) of teaching an actual class about autism! I'm so excited that Mrs. Rodgers asked us to come in and do this. It's a perfect test for me to see just how much you actually learned this semester.
I know you will have a lot of nerves when that day comes. Believe me, that is me every single first day in September! (Also, remember when I sounded like I was crying at Honor's Night because I was so nervous? Yeah. That happened.) So obviously I'm not the best person to give advice about this, but you will be fine! Once you get started, you will get a lot more comfortable with it and by the end you will think "that was easy!".
A few reminders with your homework for putting together a lesson plan:
1. Don't forget an anticipatory set! It is very important to hook the kids!
2. Do some sort of assessment at the end. Having the kids write 5 things they learned or found interesting and using it as a pass to leave is totally sufficient.
3. Allow time for them to ask you questions. Some may have questions, others may not. We will use videos to fill time if they do not have any questions.
4. Remember this class is all about the basics! We do not want to go totally in depth with anything. Our goal is to teach about autism and all that entails.
I expect to see each of you participate in the Google Doc that we have for the lesson plan. I will be critiquing it as Wednesday comes closer. Do not delete someone's suggestion if you do not think it is a good idea. Either make a comment on the side or write a note with your name behind it.
This coming week during class we will begin watching a video about Temple Grandin. This video is amazing and I am so excited to share it with you! Because of time constraints, we will not plan on doing our normal "Lows and Highs". I will be taking questions, so if you had a low that you were unsure about or struggled with, I will give you an opportunity to ask me then. Otherwise we need to get right into the video in order to finish it in two weeks!
Don't forget to be working on your projects. I will be asking to see proof of your work this week. You may show me proof in a sketch or a Google Doc. You do not have to bring me your poster, but I do need to see typed information that you plan to print out and add to the poster. Remember, I do not like handwritten words!
Finally: I wanted to share two graduation videos with you. Both are graduation speeches given by a student with autism. The first was shown on national news (and it made me cry). The second is from right here in Michigan. It is a student who has autism and was a part of a LINKS program at his own high school. It's a little longer than usual, but his speech about labels and overcoming them is simple amazing. I cannot get through this video without crying, especially now, after having this year with you all. I know that our current peers will never be able to get up and do this, but who knows for the future! Also, the way he speaks about his LINKS is simply amazing. While our peers cannot verbally tell you this, I know in my heart that they feel the same way as Sam.
Have a wonderful rest of your week!