Mid-Year Move

August 20, 2019 4 min read

Chelsea’s Mid-Year Move is Part 2 of my conversation with Chelsea Marelle. Before we get into her big move we discuss curriculum for different special ed populations, including leveled literacy interventions and interactive journals and math groups.

We explain how to put up wall decor (less and higher up) that is more helpful for students with autism. For example, there was a built-in mirror on one of the doors, so she made it so kids could use it to identify different emotions. We also talk about roleplaying what is expected in each area of the room, such as what to do in a calm down corner.

We also consider flexible seating options, and whether or not that is even a good option since sometimes kids consider their desk a safe space that is theirs.

She shares first teacher stories and her first experience with error-free learning (also called errorless learning). She shares how important it is to be intentional with students and teaching assistants in a special ed classroom.

Finally, Chelsea shares her wild experience of leaving her students, getting a new job and moving to another state in just a few months, all in the middle of the school year!! She explains how she dealt with packing up, interviewing for a job in a different state, and starting over again at a new district in January. You will appreciate her advice and tips if you are ever in the same situation!

She also gives great advice to new teachers, so if you have a hard first year, consider that a different population or setting might be more what you need. For example, if your credential focus was specific learning disabilities and how to help general ed students meet grade-level standards in an inclusion or co-teaching setting, you might be very unhappy or feel lost in a special ed job which, say, focuses on daily life skills of students who are not working on grade-level standards. so, before you quit teaching altogether, consider that you might be happier in a placement which matches up better with your training.

One thing I have learned since starting this podcast, every special education class is a little bit different from others. The terms resource, life skills and even case manager mean very different things in different parts of the country!

Finally, Chelsea gives advice on how you can consider every year of teaching a learning experience, whether it seems like a positive or negative experience.

Be sure to go back and listen to Part 1 of our talk in case you missed it. It is Episode 15.

Episode Show Notes

Links and Resources

Guest: Chelsea Marelle Part 2

Hi! My name is Chelsea Marelle and I am starting year 5 of teaching! I have known that I wanted to be a teacher since second grade and special education drew me in from the start and I’ve never looked back. I was very fortunate to earn my Master’s Degree in Special Education (with some focus in ABA) from Vanderbilt University where I was able to work with some of the brightest minds in education. I have taught k-5 resource, k-5 cross-category self-contained, moved halfway across the country in the middle of the school year, taught 2nd and 3rd grade SLD self-contained, and now will be teaching an Autism level 3 self-contained class for 4th and 5th grade. I am a complete NERD when it comes to special education, behavior, and scheduling! I’m that teacher that has a T-shirt, costume, decoration, window cling, or craft for everything. If there’s a costume contest, guarantee I’m winning it!  I have never worked a day because teaching isn’t a job for me… it’s my passion! 

Logo for Mrs Special Education

Host: Lisa Goodell

Lisa Goodell, M.A., launched the “Help for Special Educators” Podcast on April 1, 2019. It has been heard in over 20 countries worldwide! She has taught for over 25 years, including third grade, resource/inclusion (RSP), and mild/moderate self-contained (SDC). Currently, she is an itinerant orthopedic impairment (OI) specialist/teacher for students birth to 21 years old in all general ed and special ed settings.

Lisa has a master’s degree in special education and six special ed and general ed teaching credentials. She has been honored as “Teacher of the Year” at both the elementary (2014) and secondary level (1994). She lives in rural Central California with her family and a bunch of cats. Connect with Lisa here. You can also get more information about Lisa by listening to the beginning of Episode 1.

This podcast has been listened to in over 40 countries!
This podcast has been listened to in over 40 countries!

Click here to return to the PODCAST HOMEPAGE to access all episodes (listen and show notes)

  • Alexis January 20, 2020 at 12:53 PM

    Did you ever find out where the literacy interactive journal that was the “best investment of her life” was from?

    • admin January 25, 2020 at 6:04 PM

      I just posted the link to it in the “Links and Resources” section of the show notes.

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