Sunday, September 9, 2012

Schedules and Routines

Fact is, I should be resting up for another big week, and somehow I am driven to finish this post that I wanted to create last week. So tomorrow starts the beginning of week 5 for my school. That's totally unbelievable, but it makes sense, because for an Autism self-contained classroom like ours, we are FINALLY getting our routine together. I have to try all new things at the beginning of the year, to find out what will work. I swear last year I changed something every two weeks, so by the last month of school, we finally had it all down.

Well, it wouldn't have taken so long this year but we started this new SLO (Student Learning Objectives) Testing for kids K-3rd this year in our county. It's a standardized performance-based test.... I'm 99.9% sure that it was basically created to measure teacher accountability. And it drives me nuts for teachers in my position. Okay, I admit, it sucks for any teacher. But especially for me because I had to administer the test to each of my 6 kids (my students are all K-2nd... urrrrg) individually, instead of small or whole group. Each grade level has 5 two-hour-long sections, so it takes a whole week to complete it. Only most classes take it in 2 hrs or less, and it takes our class the WHOLE DAY. Well the kids didn't mind it so much, because they got to watch Magic School Bus when it wasn't their turn. I loved that show even when I was their age.. I'm so glad we can watch it on Discovery on the ActivBoard now. It actually made the week bearable.
Anyways, I'm getting off track. One night last week, I was thinking about my night time routines. Does anybody else have crazy night time routines? Like, I cannot have a successful day unless I lay EVERYTHING out the night before. I'm beginning to think that it's a little too excessive. See, it's good to always have a consistent schedule and routines, especially if you teach kids with Autism. But I honestly sometimes think that I was made for this job, and it may be silly, but perhaps this is just one reason why. I am the exact way about having routine schedules. During student teaching, I had the same routine every morning, afternoon, and night. And if something got in the way, it was seriously frustrating. It still is. I'm gonna explain what I do every night to prepare myself for the unknown (You just NEVER know what to be ready for when you teach Self-Contained. Really, the better prepared you are for everything else, the better your day can go) and I would LOVE feedback, to let me know I'm completely sane. Thank you.

So, first I always have to shower no later than 8:00. That's because it gives me plenty of time to let my hair air-dry while I finish whatever gradwork or paperwork to prepare for the next day. Then, I fix my hair, and brush my teeth and set everything out for the next day. I pick out my outfit (gotta love Casual Wednesdays - just have to wear my favorite Khakis and school spirit shirt to get pumped about the hump day of the week and I lay it out.
Then, I pack my lunch. Sometimes on Sunday nights, I will try to prepare sandwiches for the rest of the week. Does anybody do this? PB&J is what I did this day, because I ran out of turkey.  And it is so convenient, because I just freeze it for the week and it stays cold the whole morning.

I can't forget to set the coffee pot. *We are old-fashioned... We're SO getting the Keurig as soon as we have our first wedding shower :) ....At least this one has the alarm, so I naturally set it for 5:10 to brew before I even get up.


Does anybody else use hot chocolate mix as a coffee sweetener? My friend told me that it has fewer calories, and I never checked for myself, but I don't really care because it sure is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.!!

Well I guess I will keep this post nice and short, because I've got to go and get everything ready right now. It's going to be ANOTHER busy week and I can't wait for it to be over already. Sure, we get to go on a field trip every day this week, but I'm not so excited about the schedule changing for everyone... We'll see how it goes! Tell me, am I the only one so crazy about my bedtime routine?

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