After about a month and a half of working at a new school, my brain feels like a squeezed lemon: very used, productive, and only a teeny bit bitter. Seriously, it’s only a teeny bit. And who doesn’t want a little zest in their life?
I have longed for my own classroom again, and I got it! I was an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) in another district, and now am back to having a self-contained DHH class.
While this’ll be my 19th year of teaching (saying that makes me feel a little accomplished, and very old as well as ironic), this new situation has had a YUGE learning curve. Partly because my teaching brain had gotten used to not having a classroom and all that comes with it: teaching all the routines, having logistics in place (oh right we need pencils… a pencil sharpener… the alphabet on the wall; etc.), and partly because I have two students whose behaviors are extreme, and I’ve never dealt with extreme behaviors. I have dealt with behaviors, yes, but not to this extent. (Picture: yelling, screaming, dumping everything in the room, throwing chairs and overturning tables. I’ve heard of worse and I am fortunate that it’s not: spreading feces on the wall or spitting, or aiming punches or scratches that really hurt!)
Things are in process for these kiddos… and I’m sure I have earned some new silvery hairs from my experiences thus far. But there are many pretty roses in my garden of mud as well, that deserve appreciation: this new situation also comes with wonderful staff that are supportive, and all of the kids have sweetness, some more than others but it’s there. And while some days have me feeling 2 inches tall as a teacher, I haven’t thrown in the towel. If I can do my darndest to stay at this school, and cling to the rocks and climb this mountain in order to do so, I will. But, as I said one day to a sweet teacher, I wouldn’t want to continue in this same way all year; if so, I would need to quit at some point to preserve my sanity.
We’ll see who wins: will this situation beat me down to choosing a new career path? Or will the situation resolve itself and become something beautiful? Stay tuned to find out! In the amazing adventures of… The Pagan Dork!