Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Umm, hi?

So, I just need to start by saying how proud I am of myself in this moment. It's July 19, school doesn't begin for (almost) another month, and I am setting up my blog WHILE printing new products I purchased during the TpT #spedtakesorlando dollar deals sale. This is really something, people.

Needless to say, I am definitely a self proclaimed Type B Teacher (I'll thank my instagram/teacher/maker secret best friend Blair Turner for coining that term!). But with that being said, I deeply care about education, my students, providing quality instruction, and making a comfortable and caring classroom environment for all of us. I just happen to realize in June that my kiddos are completing snowman themed task cards - EVERY YEAR.

I have taught in the same school district for 6 years with students with moderate to severe special needs. It was my biggest blessing and my biggest challenge - working in a high needs school in an extremely low income school district, with the most high needs kids. This last year was my hardest of my years thus far, and I knew I needed a change if I ever hoped to teach another year (shoot, I wish I was exaggerating).

So, of course I took another extremely challenging teaching position! Ha! I wouldn't be me without a challenge (or at least that's how it seems?!). This year I will be in a new district, teaching at their therapeutic day school. If that in itself doesn't sound tricky, add in that 90% of the students are wards of the state and live at the residential treatment center next door because they have been in multiple failed foster care placements. Oof. When I heard this position was open, I knew I had to apply.

Behavior has always been my favorite skill to focus on - it's so important and I see that as the area I am most patient in. Additionally, the support provided for these classrooms is unreal! It's like they actually see the needs the students have, and have given the materials/support to meet them where they're at. What a revolutionary thought! (Can you tell I'm still a bit jaded from my former district?)

My new friends will be in my sweet spot - grades K-2 (maybe a 3rd grader is sneaking in, we'll see). They are unbelievably needy at this age, but let's be real, I'm needy too - and I just love the littles. Of course I will face many bumps in the road, and I am not looking forward to the struggles of being the new kid. Wait, can I park here? Where's the closest Starbucks? Do you provide pencils when we run out or do I have to write a Donors Choose project? Who do I ask when I need printer ink? Do I even HAVE access to a printer? What's the WiFi code here? Is the secretary actually mean or does she just seem sassy because I don't know her? Ugh. But, that's change. And let's be clear: I NEEDED IT! But - I am so excited to start something new.

So here we are. I am shocked if you have read this. But, I hope you come back and read more of my ramblings. And that you tell other people to read them, too - because I am one of the only educational blogs I have found that focuses on children with emotional disabilities. There's a need for us ED teachers to share our experiences, our tips, to ask for help, to build community with one another, and quite honestly to just share the fact that mental health is important and shouldn't be something to fear.