Monday, October 29, 2012

A Tirade, well kind of

As most of you know, I am a special education teacher.  When I was younger and in a 2 year college, I was studying to be an elementary school teacher.  Why?  Because everyone told me I was good with children, so it was easy.  Then I took a couple of psychology classes including on one on abnormal psychology.  I found it very interesting and still it was easy.  So then I went on to a 4 year college and majored in elementary school and special education.  It was interesting and easy.  Then I took a class on finding employment for adults with moderate to severe disabilities.  At the same time, I was working for United Cerebral Palsy as a teacher for adults who had been institutionalized all of their lives and were getting ready to be sent into the community.  I enjoyed this, enjoyed my students and knew I could do this.

Many years later now, I have been teaching students with moderate to severe disabilities, mostly multiple disabilities for something like 18 years now.  I like it but here comes the reason for the "tirade".  I can't tell you how many times I have been told, "You must have so much patience" or "I could never do what you do".  No, I don't have patience and if you mean the times I get peed on, pooped on or thrown up on, no one really wants that to happen, it just does.  These comments are often made by other teachers or substitute teachers.  Just tell the truth, you don't want to teach these students and you aren't going to if you have anything to say about it.

So don't.

I have news for you though.  You may be cutting off your nose to spite your face.  You will be missing out on the hard work, but that hard work makes very real changes in the lives of your students.  You will be missing out on the mess, but that mess can be what it takes to teach your student real life skills that may be the difference between a life of choice and one of submission.
You definitely miss out on the chance to work with families who know how to appreciate you for what you do.  And you learn, learn, learn every day in more ways than you can possibly want to :).

I am the lucky one.  Yay for me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hard Times/Good Times

Well, we're getting into the second half of the first quarter of school.  I love my work, but it is hard work.  I have some new students with new challenges.  Something nice though, is that the students I have had for a while now (for some it's their third year with me) are really showing growth and maturity.  Children who didn't know how to play with a toy are playing with toys, children who didn't know how to stay in a seat, are staying seated.  Some can eat their food with a fork and spoon independently.  Some can wash their hands, some are beginning to talk.  The steps were small at first but over the longer time period, they have become mighty!

On the home front, my daughter, Krista is now in her 34th week of pregnancy.  She looks beautiful and the doctor says she is giving them an easy job.  We just had a baby shower for her with just her friends, her sister and myself.  She says she was surprised, I hope so :).  We can't wait until Max is born!

My husband just got back from Canada where he had a very enjoyable but cold visit with his brother, sister-in-law and our niece.  He says he has lots of pictures (I haven't seen them yet) and brought back quite a few gifts like the pooping bear keychain he gave me :).

My grandson Jack is still wonderful and he did visit with us last weekend.  We are always so amazed at how smart and handsome he is!  (You would think he was related to me or something).

I will leave you with one of my favorite songs from my very favorite singer, just because it makes me happy.  I hope it makes you happy as well.