Category Archives: Boston

For the love of teaching

Some things have come to light about my former job and the teachers that were hired after me.  They are things that make me incredibly sad and frustrated that I didn’t pass that fuckin exam in time to get rehired.  Yes, I know the timing wasn’t right anyway.  I know it was way more important that I was here at home to help out with Marion than to be at EDCO but I think about the kids that are there now and how these teachers are selfish, rude and immature.  They are unable to not take things personally with the students.  Grow the fuck up! Seriously?

My chosen profession of Special Education Educator can be quite challenging at times.  If you are especially good at what you do~ ie: not sending kids to the office every hour. You become a dumping ground (I know, bad term) for all the behavior problems that other teachers are struggling with.  I used the word dumping because that is how a weak administration often handles difficult students.  Grouping them all into the category of they must have cognitive weakness otherwise why would they behave so poorly.  At times this could be a good fit for my class or it could be a negative fit.  One student a young lady Patience (names were changed) was put into my mildly cognitive challenged self-contained classroom.  She had quite a few problems going on at home, mom was trying her best but Patience challenged the authority of every kind.  So someone said,  oh Patience struggles with the material so let’s put her in Jen’s classroom.  As soon as Patience was placed in my class I knew she was much higher functioning than any of the students in my class.  She quickly went through the assignments with little or no guidance.  I pointed this out to our department chair and administration.  So her schedule was changed, she was put into more appropriate classes.  She refused to do work.  The administrator was pretty savvy started having Patience walk the track whenever she was refusing to work.  For some reason this work.  Now Patience lost some weight and started receiving attention in a positive way for staying in class and being open to new topics.  The reason the walking around the track helped was she was doing something physical, and she got to talk to a teaching assistant or other special ed. teacher.  But this also worked because it appeared that Patience realized she was important and not to be discarded.

In my current placement, I have a student, Roman.  Roman’s mother died a couple of years ago, it was also at that time he found out he was adopted.  Roman is now living with grandparents.  And English is not their first language, they are also very religious. Roman, is gay and rather low cognitively.  He is very critical of himself constantly putting himself down.  Roman is in a class with some tough students.  Kids that are used to being critical of themselves and others.  I was able to have a little one on one time with Roman the other day.  I told him I didn’t want him to be so critical of himself.  I also told him, I was so happy he was in my class and that I loved him.  I really loved him for his interest in plants and animals. How he thinks of others and is kind.  He started getting a little teary-eyed.  I did too when I realized the reason he was acting out, he didn’t feel loved or wanted.  Just the simply saying that yes, you do matter and you matter to me was enough to help him get back on track.  Is he perfect no but he is trying now, which he wasn’t doing before.

My students just want to be seen.

Things I am really good at

This week’s list is about things I am really good at, so bragging about myself.  I know it is often viewed as in poor taste to ring one’s own bell.  As I write that I am thinking about so many students I have worked with that struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem.  In my, English class students had a warm-up to name one positive quality about themselves.  I had students tell me that didn’t have any good qualities.  I know there are some days I feel like that too.  I feel like I am just taking from the world more than I am contributing to it.  Well back to the list~

I am good at making others feel comfortable.  I often have total strangers telling me their life stories.  When I was riding the T on a  regular basis, I made friends with total strangers.  One woman was going to school to become a minister shared with me her experience about the day of the bombing.  Another person I also met on the T, we became friends when he gave me a ride to the Women’s march in Boston in 2017.  Through the year while riding the T together, I learned about his family and he learned about mine.

Another way I try to spread joy or at least positive thoughts is through my post-it notes.  I have these stick all over post-it notes.  I put inspirational quotes or sayings on these and then leave them random places.  One of my favorite places was to leave them on the T.  At one point I was a topic of conversation on Reddit.  People wanted to know who and or why someone was doing these.  I am not sure how I started doing it other than thinking that Erin and I were riding the same trains maybe if I wrote positive notes she would see them and it would bring a smile to her face.  I could probably do a whole entry on the post-it notes.  Why and how I do them and different interactions I have had with people about them.

I am really good at laughing.  I can find so many things to laugh about throughout the day.  And often I can get those around me to relax enough to laugh too.

I am a really good friend.  I will stick by my friends even when we have grown apart.  I have former teaching assistants that I was especially close to when we were working together, most of the time people then grown apart after they stop working together.  Not me I will continue to send postcards or text messages just to let them know they are still in my thoughts.

I am a great letter writer.  I not only write good letters to people but I actually write letters and mail them the old fashion way. So many people have told me oh you are so good at doing that, I wish I was.  What a cop-out, I do it because it brings me joy and hopefully it brings a little joy the recipient.

I am pretty good at letting things go~  now this is on a few different levels-                    post-it notes.  I write them and then I am done with them.  They are not for me to gain fame or recognition.  They are just something I write hoping to spread a little joy and then let them go. When I have an issue with a person, I say my peace and then I am over it.  If I have a problem with a student the same idea is true for them too.  What happened in the past stays in the past.  Now, I am not perfect about this but for the most part I try to be.

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The Capitalist

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I am very much of the mindset to take life as it comes.  Yes, I work and I have at many times put in too many hours for a job I felt required to do so for it.  After working … Continue reading