Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back at It - With a Bit of Gusto

After getting violently ill on Tuesday, while also taking care of my mildly ill toddler, we are all back to school and doing okay today. Luckily the little man lost no weight, never really acted sick, and just struggled with the backside of stomach flu. I haven't been so sick since about age 12, but luckily mine didn't hang on for five days!

So today I was back to feeling pretty dang good, which makes me want to duck since that's what usually gets me in trouble. That's when the universe smacks me in the head with something to remind me that life is not a Rogers and Hammerstein musical! Despite what I hear in my head! (A running soundtrack of South Pacific, in case you are wondering).

I was back to school yesterday and realized that it's all good when you miss your work a little. It's a nice balance to miss your kids during the day at work, and to miss your work a little when you're home sick. Suddenly I'm enjoying my work with a new gusto. Thinking that my students might actually learn from me and maybe that I have something to share.

I feel like I spend a good chunk of my week just explaining to staff at our school how to let kids with disabilities just be in their classrooms and in the lunchroom and out and about in general...without feeling all nervous for them. What if they get made fun of? Well obviously I stick up for these kids with a whole lot of energy, but I also just want them to taste the high school experience. All of it. If that means running into some jerks now and then, didn't we all? And hey, how did you learn? From making mistakes! So how about letting these kids, who have some physical or cognitive differences get those real life lessons too. I'm obviously not talking about bullying or harassment here, but hey - I'm not educating these kids in a plastic bubble either.

"Students with disabilities are more similar to their peers than they are different." said our special education director. And I say Hear Hear!!!



Jenifer said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend...could the sick season be starting already?

LoriAnn said...

Oh please don't let the sick season be starting already! I just want to enjoy some cool fall weather first!

OM - I got a little emotional about you sticking up for your students but letting them have some of the high school experience - you're so very right, that we learn from our mistakes and keeping them in a bubble would do them more harm them good. Hurray for you!

nikkis30by30 said...

Once again, you moved me. I don't know what actually prompted this post, however I would LOVE to hear the story. I agree with you.... let them live. I really do agree with all you said here. Also, made me admire you just a little more.

Midwest Beach Girl said...

Ah high school. Didn't those awful years shape us all? The only people that weren't shaped by them are the ones that say they were the best years of their life.

Pretty sure it is also the reason for the influx of counselors across the nation. :)

Mama said...

FYI. The brain is under major construction in the early teens. To handle the activity during construction the brain detours input through the anger center. So-o-o teens interpret everything as, "Why are you yelling at me?!" OR "Stop looking at me!" (said in a yelling, angry voice) OR "Everybody hates me!" So they've got a skewed perception of everything. OUR JOB- get them through it alive!!!!

p.s. I walked in on a co-teacher today (actually @ 10:00 p.m., we were both playing "catch up") and she was sobbing. Some days are like that, and so remember the gusto for the gustoless days.

Aliki2006 said...

Hear hear is right! Good for you for advocating for their rights to be treated like, well, EVERYONE ELSE!

kristi said...

Having a child with special needs, I tend to agree. Let them be themselves. There are different people everywhere.

Michelle said...

I'm glad you're feeling better and were excited to get back to school!

I think I heart your special ed. director! And I know I've told you this before, but I think YOUR students are lucky to have you for a teacher, not only do you teach, but you advocate!

OT: I just got a notice that a meeting has been scheduled for Kayla (the reason listed was interim - placement and services) and her spec ed teacher said she thought it was about getting her a 1:1. I didn't know that was even being discussed! I'm calling the coordinator tomorrow to find out for sure what this meeting is about. If they're going to provide her a 1:1 I say great!