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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.

I wonder~ I have the feeling I should…

So I just watched this video that talked about imagination and how to spur it on~ and it is to say “I wonder” about everything.  So here we go the other thing I am going to work on is my intuition by saying aloud. “I have the feeling I should…”

I wonder how long I will have to wait to find out about my dream job.  I wonder if the weather will continue to stay nice for a bit. I wonder what my dream house will look like.  I wonder when I will find my dream house.  I wonder how I will pay for my dream house.  I wonder how close to the ocean I will be?  I wonder if that light up harness bothers Lucy?  I wonder if my daughters will give me a chance?  I wonder if they will ever see them the way I see them which is beautiful?  I wonder if I will get to go to Cuba? I wonder what I will need to do to be able to afford to go to Cuba?  I wonder if I will have to eat beans when I go to Cuba?  I wonder why my body doesn’t process food the way other people’s bodies do?  I wonder if Mark will ever like any cooking dish I make?  I wonder why I am so disorganized?  I wonder why I love to send people postcards?  I wonder why I like to share joy with so many people?  (Share joy as is sending postcards)

I wonder when I will get to share my gifts with the students of EDCO?  I wonder if my intuition is right and that by listening to my heart I will be going back there.  (Maybe this is a good one for the I have a feeling…)

I have the feeling … and I am afraid to believe it because I want to go back to my old job.  Now the stupid what if… which is not a game I should play.  What if there is something else I am supposed to do.  When will my heart tell me~ ok right now it is telling me.   I have the feeling I shouldn’t even go down this road.  I am so blessed in so many ways.

 

 

 

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Gratitude right now!

So I picked up this book called 52 Lists for Happiness.   I bought it last year and did some of the activities but didn’t write them down in the book.  Probably because this time last year I was working full … Continue reading

5-1-5

5-1-5~  A woman in my meditation group mentioned this is what she does when she is having trouble meditating due to the all too famous monkey mind.  When I first learned this ~ life was not going especially easy for me.  I was doing odd jobs, dog walking, house cleaning, filing paperwork, substitute teaching at a preschool anything I could do to earn a little money.  There were times when I would get down on myself for things not progressing as quickly as I would like.   So I took Lynn suggestion~

5-1-5   Five things I am grateful for,  really think and express appreciation for those things i.e.,  the weather, family, food, friends, the list goes on.  So I was usually dog walking when I felt inclined to do the 5-1-5.  And in the beginning the weather was less than perfect (it was the year we got 10 ft of snow).  But I almost always expressed gratitude for the weather.  This could be things such as the right clothes, the sun shining or how beautiful everything looks with a layer of bright white snow on top of it.  I really consider my statement and even if I am not feeling 100% that way, focusing on my gratitude somehow makes it smile.  Each item I try to focus on for  a minute or two.

5-1-5    One thing I need help with~  at the time I was job hunting, healing from a break up, needing a home, and just feeling lost.  You can think of it as a little prayer or asking your angels or your own inner being.  One time, I was walking Lucy in a big park,  I started doing the 5-1-5, I got to my 1.  And I was going to ask for help finding a job.  I got a phone call from one of the schools I had applied.  I didn’t end up getting the job (actually didn’t want it).  But I felt like my prayers were being heard and I think that was a big part of the 1.

5-1-5    Five people or ideas you want to bless.  This one is pretty straight forward.  Somedays I would focus on people who were easy to love, like my daughters, Lucy, family.  Other days I would focus on people not so easy to love. i.e.  ex-husband, ex-boyfriends, mean people or just difficult people.  I found sending these people my love instead of my disgust made me feel better.  Well somedays.

I was doing it on a pretty regular basis ~ but I have come back to it many times.  I have tried to teach this technique to my students and I tell them it will change your life.  And I honestly believe that.  So now sure where Lynn got this idea or if she came up with it herself.  But thank you!  You are definitely in my first five.

Unemployment checks!

Since my job was restructured last year~ I have been able to recuperate from my last teaching job.  A job that started off as a great place to work and I thought it was my dream job but after the first year~ it became a nightmare.  The director though a nice man ~ he is also a very weak administrator so there was no follow up on discipline or support given to staff.  Even though I was the most experienced on staff and the oldest and the most grounding I still needed support especially since I was put into a nearly impossible position.  Full time special education teacher (or in charge of all the paperwork and making sure all the services were being met and teaching 4 history classes.  I thought at first no problem~ the director understands this is a big job he will support me.  But nope he didn’t in fact when I asked him for help and even gave him suggestions as to what would help me do my job better and/ or make things easier for me.  He actually gave me more responsibilities.  WTF? dude seriously?  But the guy has some serious passive aggressive issues.  I started to push back too.  I didn’t make any attempt to waste my time doing pointless paperwork  such as writing out my lesson plans in a complete format ~ and I told him I felt like I had more important things to do like actually teach rather than fill out some sheet that he would look at once and then forget about checking on it ever again, ok I didn’t say that to him but I had noticed had been his MO.

When he told me he was going to restructure my position, I told him good luck with that. And good luck finding someone to fill my shoes.  Well, he then restructured it to what I had originally suggested to him but he waited to tell me that on the last day of school. And told me I could reapply if I wanted.  Well, that and I needed to pass this fvkkcing exam that has nothing to do with special ed.  As of this writing, I am still waiting to hear if I pass it or not again.  I was angry at first ~ feeling like he never appreciated me.  Well, seriously he didn’t until it was too late.  I did speak to him and told him my issues and I recommended he think about going into another field where he could actually make a difference instead of holding back progress at the school.  He rolled his eyes at me~ asshole.  So he lost all 5 of his teachers.  He had lost 5 teachers the year before too.  But he was saving the collab.  money by hiring new inexperienced teachers every year.  The program be damned.

But I would not have been ready to return to work back in mid-august ~ the woman I lived with was dying.  I was still feeling burned out, and I had that exam to retake.  eye roll!  But lucky me~ I could get an unemployment check.  So I go through the motions~ applying for jobs and re-writing cover letters.  But this time has given me time to think and appreciate.  I will write later about Marion’s death but if I had been teaching  I wouldn’t have been an option to assist and then be apart of her transitioning.  I am reading books, going to the beach, spending time with Lucy, hiking in the woods, think about my own health and write letters.  We don’t know what the future holds for us~ and sometimes we are giving such sweet little gifts thrown in among the sludge.

parenting quote

Update~

Well my life continues to amaze me in the twist and turns of life.  I say this everyday and mean it.  I love living here in Boston.  So much to do and see  and experience.  My heart and head feel so much freer.

It will be a year  in August since my former partner Brian decided he wanted to see if the grass is greener and released me from his heart.  It has be tough,horrible, wonderful and a learning experience.  I packed up my van and Lucy and moved 1,000 miles away from him.  Hoping and waiting for him to come to his senses or for it to finally sink in that ~ he wasn’t all I thought he was. He lied to me repeatedly, cheated and took advantage of my heart.

I can only speak for myself and observe what I think makes a good and healthy relationship.  Brian started putting his energy into his on-line relationship instead of putting it into our relationship.  Of course when I look back I see myself as never doing anything wrong but I did.  I tolerated his disrespect because he was affectionate with me.  I had my own demons of being needy and wanting more.  I really did love him.  But from the beginning, it was too much for me.  But I needed the attention he gave me, the “love” he gave me. When I bought the first house for us.  I wanted it just for MY girls and me not for him and his girls.  But he had the down payment and I had the good credit.  He was out of work but I encouraged him to really look to his heart about what he wanted to do.  He didn’t ~ he just looked at porn.  lol  (I was able to joke with him about this back in the early days.) Little did I realize that his time waster was more that idol past time.  But  I have been at that place where avoiding life seems easier than dealing with the hard truth of life.

He has moved on and got engaged to her 6 months after I left.  He had asked me to marry him too early on too~  he wanted to go to Vegas.  I said, no I wasn’t ready yet.  The universe was looking over me.  But I stayed for 4 and half years.  I think because I loved his girls.  And I loved him and his promise to me.

I have moved on too~ I will find a new dream house, a new career that I love, a new life partner.  Maybe he is already in my life.  We will see.  I say I have forgiven him but that isn’t true all the time.  I want to get to that point and I will.  Now to set my own goals and plans for my life now.