It has been a long while since I updated the blog. Partly because I have been busy transitioning from classroom teacher to resource teacher.
Since my transition began this summer, many parents, teachers, and friends have asked me a few common questions:
Are you happy?
Do you like it?
We all live lives before children and after children. My life before my children was dedicated to the field of Special Education. If you are new to this blog then you might not be aware of my history so here is a Cliff Note version.
I graduated in 1992 from the University of Central Florida with a BS in Special Education, concentration in Mental Retardation. YES! We were not politically correct and that is how my actual diploma reads. I went to work with OCPS as a self-contained combined classroom of 6th and 7th-grade middle school students for Trainable Mentally Handicap students. YES! It was a TMH classroom. YES! I was in the old Home Economics classroom...stereotypical too.
The following year I was moved to a portable classroom aka a trailer. Here I taught a Varying Exceptionalities classroom of English Second Language Learners. YES! I had students who were learning disabled and students who were autistic.
Mid-year we accepted a transfer to Nashville, Tennessee for my husband's job. At this point, I moved to a high school where I taught a self-contained classroom called CD1M aka a classroom with varying exceptionalities ranging from TMH to Autistic to Severely Mentally Handicap. YES! My classroom although indoors was located on the Vocational Wing between Auto Mechanics, Culinary and Beauty School.
Soon after I attended Vanderbilt University for my Master's in Education with a concentration in Behavioral Disorders. At the same time, I was awarded a position as the youngest Itinerant Special Education Teacher through the county office. Modern day we would call this a Specialist in Special Education or a Staffing Specialist. YES! TODAY we have one per school... back in those days, I had 12 feeder schools I had to manage. CRAZY! My job was to help with teacher trainings, develop protocols and hold lots and lots of IEP meetings and 504 plans to do what was best for those children with disabilities.
After my daughter was born I took a job as a Transition Specialist still at the county office. Now I had 8 feeder schools and helped the same students with planning their transition from school life to community life. I worked with vocational schools, community colleges, and community members to help aid these students in transitioning to their next step.
Now comes the life after the child.
This is when I transitioned to mommyhood. And I became a mommy entrepreneur. YES! I did. I contracted with daycares, pre-k programs, and private schools to teach Spanish. As the years traveled and another child was born I substitute taught, taught Spanish, tutored, even dabbled in photography.
And then... the opportunity to return to the classroom came around. I have loved my years as a "regular classroom" teacher, however, I always yearned to get back to "my kids". And finally, the opportunity presented itself. I am thrilled to be back aiding my team of teachers, helping them find their students' success. The students I work with now are nowhere as severe as the students I have worked with in the past. But I get a chance to show these students that the world is theirs and that they have a success to chase and rise to. I get a chance to work with students who need just a few strategies and some confidence to succeed. I get the joy of watching some of my more severe learning disabled children bloom into an incredible bouquet.
SO, the WHY... because Who wouldn't want this job!
Are you happy? I am thrilled. I love what I do.
Do you like it? No, I love it.
Wife, Mom, Educator and Lifelong Learner