Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Why

Wow! It has been exactly two years since I last got on here. Since my last blog post two years ago I have gotten a job with a public school system in rural Virginia as an elementary ID (Intellectual Disabilities)-Moderate teacher, and I have officially earned my Master of Education in Special Education Adapted Curriculum K-12. So short story short- I have achieved what I started in September 2013. Hooray! I have arrived!

 At a faculty meeting at school two weeks ago we were talking about our "why". For me, there are about a million reasons why but one stands out bigger than the rest- THE SPARK. The thought crossed my mind last night, as I walked into my house and thought, 'I cannot sit down or I will not get up. And if I don't get up I won't get a shower, or brush my teeth, or take my makeup off, or eat'. So I kept going. This happens to me many nights. As a special education teacher I feel like I give everything I have to my students almost every single day (except that one where we watched Trolls- but it was a half day and we were eating breakfast then lunch and it has such a good message. . .anyway). Every single day I leave my classroom I am more often than not exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. And if I'm not exhausted I am jumping off the walls from either caffeine or sugar. I can't say which is worse. Why do I do this?

Then, I think back to student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom in 2011. I left exhausted, but I also left defeated. I was crying tears of frustration, hopelessness, and selfishness. Towards the end of my student teaching experience I didn't care. I hated even the idea of teaching and if I ever stepped foot into another classroom it would have been too soon. Flash forward to 2017 and I have been teaching for 2.5 years. I try to give my all every day because I LOVE what I do. I have a spark. A spark that tells me this is exactly where I am suppose to be. That I am making a difference.

I want to give my students the best education I possibly can. I want to make school a happy place. I want to raise my expectations so high they have no choice but to reach them. I'm not going to limit them but what an IEP says. Or some online info about various disabilities.  I'm not going to accept mediocrity. Most importantly I am not going to let them down. I am their teacher. They have a right to learn. A right to be exposed to all of the math, reading, science, and social studies in addition to the functional, adaptive, social, basic and general life skills. I'm here to do all of those things.

So why am I a special education teacher? It may be exhausting but it's a good exhausting. One that tells me, "You did it! You did all you could today! Doesn't that feel good?" And it does. It really does.