Tag Archives: TODHH

A Strange, Crazy Trip of a School Year

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What an amazing, crazy, ride this school year has been! It’s my 19th year of teaching, and it feels like my 1st year in some ways. I have learned SO MUCH, not only about teaching, but about being a human being and working with others.

I have already written about the first part of the school year. I worked with two little boys who screamed, threw things, ran around the school and even away from the school, and were mean to other kids. I also got to know other sweet students at the same time. My heart broke for those students, who were victims of one of the other students, and got less teaching than they should have.

I could emotionally deal with all of it, almost, except the meanness. I have a very hard time understanding and accepting those who are randomly mean to others. And, if I would have had no end in sight, I would probably be burned out and in the funny farm by now.

Through dealing with that, I learned just how wonderful the staff I work with are. I always knew that most of the staff around me have my back, and most of them worked really well together to help those kiddos. This is hands down, the most positive workplace I have been in. Other situations have come close, but this school is the most positive and supportive I have ever been a part of.

Now, I’m facing another challenge: remote teaching these same little ones (they’re Deaf/Hard of hearing second graders) during this COVID 19 lock-down. One of them has a TBI and is struggling the most with learning from home. The rest are adjusting, I think, and some are learning more than I ever expected. And some, I’m just happy they are joining my Zoom meetings and can see their faces, even if they’re not putting in much effort in the work I set for them. What a strange time this is. And we are told to prepare ourselves to do it again in the Fall.

On another note, PTSD from past teaching jobs haunts me. While I love my principal, vice principal, and DHH admin, I still have no idea if they want me back. I have learned to not trust what I see on the surface, and that any small infraction can look horrible in their eyes, or skewed to make me look horrible when I know I’m a wonderful teacher.

Not to toot my own horn or anything… well, if I do have my own horn, don’t I get to toot it? That’s assuming I have a horn to toot. Not that I think I’m a perfect teacher and I certainly see my faults very clearly, every single day, but overall, I think I do a bang-up job!

I’m just used to others not seeing that, and seeing things through poop-colored glasses. And I’m paranoid that others are judging me. I bet this is common among teachers. Let’s hope that my bosses see me in clear-no-colored glasses at the very least. I do put in 150 to 200% effort!

I do hope I can keep on doing this. By this, I mean teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids. I do love it for the most part, even if some days I feel miserable about it. I love my students, and I love teaching.

I do have other dreams… most of them made of the smoke from pipes. One, is being an interpreter again… not much pay, and the fact that I didn’t pass the NIC depresses me- though I do need to try again at some point. (And it’s another field where people tend to judge each other, not a good feeling.) Another is becoming a published author for fiction, be it adult, young adult, teen, or author/illustrator of children’s books. And, in crazy moments, a fairy or other creature at Ren Faires like Twig The Fairy sounds really darned good. All of these things don’t pay as well as teaching (and may pay nothing at all), and I do love teaching kids.

We’ll see what the next school year brings! For now, we’ve all just got to survive the next few weeks until summer break. And don’t get me wrong: I am very happy to have a job during this time, and a purpose in that job. It is just a lot of hours of work.

May we all come out of this sane, and in good relationships with those we live and work with. May those on the front lines be safe and healthy. As people pass from this life, may we hold on to the light and joy of living. May we all see each other again soon, and be all the closer for this experience. So mote it be.

                                                                                                                Original artwork by author

Goddess Nudges – Or is it the Way the Cookie Crumbles?

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Do I see the Goddess or Leaves

Do I See the Goddess or the Leaves? – Original Artwork

Dear lovely readers, my apologies for not posting in such a long time!  Part of the reason is that so much of this blog has been about my change in career from Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) to sign language interpreter, and now I’m back, teaching the sweet kiddos.  I felt that I had messages and nudges from the Goddess/ the universe/ the powers that be/ The Force, whatever you want to call it, to move in that direction, and now I’m back to what I was doing before? How do I explain that?

I’m still interpreting occasionally.  I volunteer interpreted at a rally, and I still interpret at a local Springtime music / pagan festival.  Two years ago in December, 2015, or maybe it was November, 2015, I got word from a fellow interpreter that a job as itinerant TODHH had opened up in her district, which was close to where I live now.  I got the job and started in January of 2016.  Oh, and I moved in with my sweetie sweetness, I’m not sure if said that in the last blog- I probably did.

I’ve been loving my job as itinerant teacher!  It was a learning curve to adjust to that, since I used to be a classroom teacher.  I used to stay in one or two schools, with a caseload of about 10 students.  Now I travel from school to school (about 13-15 schools and about 24-30 students in my caseload).  There’s fluctuation, students moving in or out of the district, graduating, or other TODHHs available, or not, to take on some of my students into their caseload.  I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids from preschool to 12th grade.  For some kids, I help them develop vocabulary and language, or I help with literacy, or I help with self advocacy and care of their hearing equipment.  I still use my sign language skills in my job with some of my students, and I love that.

I had not really worked with preschoolers before, and audiologists took care of the hearing equipment needs.  Now I troubleshoot hearing aids, BAHAs (Bone conduction hearing aids), and cochlear implants.  I don’t know enough to program them or anything, but I can clean them and change batteries and put them on kids, and though I knew some of that, I know a lot more now than I did before.  Also managing the schedule and trying to see students in my caseload, and finding schools, kept my brain challenged and learning last year.  Now I’m comfortable with it.

Wow, preschool.  I am now comfortable with the wee little ones.  I was so used to secondary students.  I wasn’t sure what to do last year, and I grew into it, and figured it out.  It’s pretty fun being a goofball with little ones and figuring out how to draw language out of them, so to speak, and then driving and meeting with an older student. I like the variety I get in my job, and the flexibility.

So, did I get ‘messages from beyond’ supporting my decision to go back to teaching? Not really- unless I wasn’t paying attention to them.  It just seemed right and it’s been great so far.  But what about those messages from beyond before, how do I justify going against what they supposedly said?  I don’t know how to answer that.  I can’t justify it.  Lame, huh.  I’m a lame pagan dork.  And I’m also a fantastic pagan dork! Haha.

I’m still doing some pagan things. I joined a pagan chamber choir (I know right? Those exist? I thought all pagan music was heavy metal!) Joking on that last comment of course. I’m not as witchy-poo as I used to be; I’m not mixing herbs and doing spells and sitting at my altar like I used to.  I have kind of fallen off the magic carpet I used to ride.  What’s up with me? I have no idea.  I still love the Earth and I love connecting with other pagans.  But am I still pagan?  Yeah…. I just ‘practice’ the pagan stuff less.  I’m sure that’s why I didn’t get nudges about whether I moved in the right direction regarding my job- I didn’t ask. I just did.

My sweetie, who I think of as a gift from the divine and a somewhat subdued Pan in the flesh, and I will be getting married this summer.  After just dating a few months, we felt like we’d known each other forever.  Now, we’ve been together about 2 and a half  years.  He’s my gift, because of many reasons:  all sexual needs fulfilled, intimacy needs as well, he’s my Obi Wan Kenobi when it comes to my little worries and shyness and how to relate with people and how to be free in life, he’s my guru, my friend, and he’s my lover.  I am so blessed.

Anyway, I think I fell off of my overtly pagany ways, and so did this blog along with that.  I am still pagan though! I am, I am, I swear.  My brand of paganism is just less obvious than it was before… I am just me.  I haven’t felt a draw to go to circles and drum or do rituals with others, in fact, I feel a bit of a resistance inside.  I’m not sure why.  I think I’ve seen the people behind the curtain and I’m a little disillusioned.  That, and another group I know is wonderful is such a long car drive away.  Also, I had some magic experiences and then fell flat on my face.  After you do that, you might not want the magic experiences any more, or at least you might be hesitant about them.

I feel like my life is good right now.  I’m happy.  I’m free to be myself most of the time, and less shy to express myself the way I want to.  I’m with someone who truly cares for me and supports me.  I have sweet, sweet friends that like me the way I am.  My job is pretty darned good.  I have what I need in abundance.  Thank you, God and Goddess, for providing.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life.