Today is December 28, 2017. There are only a few days remaining in our (teachers’) Christmas break. Although I’ve done a lot of resting and thinking, I’m not ready to go back…just yet. Sure, 2 weeks of vacation time is great and significantly more than what most people get/earn, but I need a little more time.
You see, I started this school year as a Special Education Paraprofessional with a plan to get re-certified so that I could teach. I began the school year at a charter school that, I thought, would provide the perfect opportunity for me to demonstrate what I know and can do in the classroom…and not just for students with IEPs. Well, I managed to stay there 2.5 months. It was a terrible environment, with regard to “leaderhip” and culture. I had the misfortune of working under two (passive aggressive) White women with no experience in Special Education, no desire to learn, and no desire to follow state and federal guidelines with regard to that population of students. In a nutshell: I refuse to work for, or with, anyone who blatantly disregards the law. I told the Head of School exactly that before my exit. I also shared my concerns with one of the parents and, last we chatted, that individual took those concerns to the school’s board. I am hopeful that they will make the necessary changes soon.
Mid-October, I was given an opportunity to teach at another charter school. Despite the prospect of 30-45 minute daily commute (each way), I was excited to actually teach again. I had made a few attempts over the years to teach; however, with new certification rules and a lot of people providing incorrect information, my return was postponed. But I persisted…
And now I’m counting down my vacation days, but not with anticipation. Why? “As my mamma wouod say: Same sh*t, different day.” Only now, it’s a different location. But I’ve ome to (begrudingly) realize that people are the same no matter where you go. Lacking knowledge of Special Efucation: Check. Not making use of the people who know about Special Education: Check. Expecting kids to succeed or, at the very least, keep their heads above water without mandated and necessary supports: Check.
I’m tired. Folks keep moving my damn cheese, which makes it harder to do my job well. Sure, I can half-ass it through the day, but I know when I have not done enough. And that bothers me because some of these kids have already been shortchanged.
This time around, I decided to state the facts, my needs, and then let those with the power to get things done…get them done. Or not.
I just wanna be great, so get out of my way.
Thank you and Welcome Back! The struggle is real, but it is worth it for those we are able to impact on a daily basis. Your input and dedication is much needed and appreciated. If you ever need a team of people to grow with, check out #mdeschat chat every Thursday at 8pm EST. We discuss a variety of topics and always love when new voices are heard to help grow the human capacity of our profession. We only got a week and a Day for our holiday break so I took half to be with family and half of it to refocus on instructional plans. What grades are you teaching?
Thank you for taking the time to read, your words of encouragement, and the invite! I will definitely put the chat on my calendar!
Happy New Year!