10.18.2006

Molding our future

In conversation, people sometimes ask me what I do for a living. Last year I worked as a full-time Learning Disabilities (LD) teacher. This year I am working in the resource room with a variety of disabilities...earning my Special Education Strategist. The second the title of my job comes off my tongue, I get a reaction. A lot of the time people comment on how that is great that I can teach becuase they could never do it; or how I could work with children becuase they would never have the patience to do so. Most of the time I take this as a compliment, sometimes I take it as an insult. My job is so much more than a job. It is so much more than a career. This is my passion. This is me doing my part to make a difference in this crazy world of ours. This is the most rewarding thing I could ever do... teach. Some of my most rewarding moments this school year thus far are as followed:

  • watching a child say "I get it Ms. S!" during his/her third, fourth, or fifth attempt at adding fractions, dividing with remainders, or searching for the direct objects in a sentence.
  • Trying to teach a child to read when he/she doesn't even know all the sounds to the letters of the alphabet, and then watching a him/her read a three letter word for the first time...accompanied by the biggest grin ever. (and me choking back tears of excitement!)
  • Watching a child with Autism struggle with taking turns while being "forced" to work cooperatively with another student...and then watching that same child tell the other student that they will take turns and work together to solve the math problems.
  • Watching a student struggle with anxiety while working on his/her math assignment to the point of uncontrollable tears and gasping for air; taking the time to try to calm him/her down, and then thirty minutes later as he/she has finally gotten ahold of himself/herself.... he/she takes the time to be polite and say "thank you Ms. S....thank you for helping me with my math" when all I was worried about was trying to figure out how to keep these anxiety attacks from happening again.
  • Working with a child who has difficulties expressing himself/herself, most of the time choosing to not make eye contact or say anything, and watching him smile for the first time followed by reading his/her answer instead of just pointing or shrugging his/her shoulders.
  • Watching a child with limited English talk the most he/she has ever talked in the past two years, with his/her last words coming out of his/her mouth "I don't want to move." This just makes your heart break. This makes you wonder how much he/she would learn if he/she were to get a good, consistent education in one setting...not two.
  • Watching a child with Autism make his/her first real friend, and be able to keep it, knowing that students with Autism are usually considered to be loners due to lack of social skills.
I can truely say that each and every day, I look forward to going to work. I might not always look forward to the icky moments that consist of behavior issues or working with students who are having a lack of motivation, or the early mornings full of IEP meetings with parents who don't care or sometimes don't even show up, or the mounds of paper work, but I can honestly say that I love what I do. I love working with children. I love being given the opportunity to mold a small number of creatures to become the best that they can become, those creatures who will be the future of this great big world we live on.

9 comments:

Firefly's Running said...

Yes, Special Ed teachers are special!

Nicole said...

All teachers should be as committed as you!

Frank said...

"I get it MS.S" , you're "born to teach" !:)

Jenny said...

Great post. I can see why you enjoy what you do :-)

Anne said...

I'm glad there are educators like you out that that consider it a calling and not just a job.

D said...

Thanks for your recent comment!

This is a lovely post. What a gratifying career you have. Teachers certainly aren't appreciated (or paid) as much as they are worth.

Anonymous said...

not many people can have a "job" that is their passion hats off to you!

Deb said...

Our blessings present themselves in many ways. To live passionately about anything is to be blessed. And blessed you are!

Lora said...

And may you be blessed for all you give to this world!!