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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Last Dog Day of August

This Friday, August 31st, provided me the perfect opportunity to reflect on several topics I wish to share with my readers.  First, I want to give a shout out to my wife Aimee.  Yesterday was our Ninth Wedding Anniversary and while our life now revolves around raising three children, one 6 year old and twin four year olds, it seems we often lack the time to spend with each other.  It's a common situation I know for couples with young children who are involved and participate in sports and other activities.

I promised Aimee that we will soon celebrate our Anniversary together in a few weeks when things have settled down and our new school year routines have begun.  Also adding a pall over the last two weeks of summer was that my wife was hit in the rear on August 20th as she was returning home from work and as a result she's not in tip top shape.  Hopefully, her recovery will be quick, weeks not months, and after some  Physical Therapy I pray that will be the case.

Also, this last day of August moves the calendar towards Labor Day and for many a return to school.  I am very excited to have my children get off to a solid start at their new school.  We visited the school a few days ago and they had a chance to go inside the building and speak to several of the teachers who were there setting up their rooms.

My children aslo visited my classroom this week as I went in and set up my classroom.  I am a dually certified Elementary Teacher (1-6) as well as a Special Education Certified teacher (1-6) and I will be entering my third year in the profession.   I became a teacher, after working in the business world, in order to make a positive difference in the lives of children. I always had good rapport with children and teens and once I returned to school to earn my Master's degree, there was no turning back, I was hooked. My student teaching experiences only validated my decision to return to school back in 2005 as the correct one.

These last three years I've taught in a self contained classroom at a Special Eduction School where I work with 12 children ranging in age from age 12 to 18.  My students, each with unique backgrounds, are a testament to the character traits of fortitude, resiliency and spirit and it is my honor being their teacher. 

I am excited to rejoin my kids and to continue to facilitate their learning.  This year we will be using the Smartboard, which was installed this summer, across many activities in several content areas.  I would also like to continue to find other creative ways to demonstrate to my kids that the world is bigger than what they see outside.  Last year, I used a web based site called e-pals to have several snail mail correspondences with students from England.  Additionally, a class from India reached out to us this summer so I have to follow that up and involve classes from other parts of the world.

This global connectedness extends to social media such as Twitter.  I have been fortunate to follow several teachers, principals and administrators on Twitter.  There is no lack of ideas or other school related creative platforms discussed using this medium and I have discovered and plan on attempting several exercises gleaned from my Twitter "collaborators" and "facilitators."

I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing on Twitter and for providing the impetus for me to reflect on my own practice and providing me with other great ideas I can employ in my practice.  So educators follow me on Twitter: @SteveKeegan10 and I'll follow back.  Also, Special Educators of Severely and/or Behaviorally Challenged I would love to hear back from you and pick your brains.  Perhaps our classes could collaborate on a project together.

Leave me a line with your e-mail and/Twitter handle in the comments section.

Onward and Upward,


P.S.  Another shout out today goes out to WFUV radio here in NY at 90.7 FM dial or on internet radio using the Tunein Radio app.  Today they played free form music all from the 1980's.  This was a formative decade for me and I thoroughly enjoyed all the music I heard today.  From new wave bands, to one hit wonders to established artists the music selected today was instantly recognizable and brought me back in time as good music will do.  Here's a video of one of the tunes I heard today.

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