Election 2016 Reflection

Here we go. Today I woke up with a heavy heart as reality sets in with the results of the election. This campaign has been grueling for our nation. It has made some people show the absolute worst of themselves (My dear FB friends, I am blessed that I have seen little to none of it from you and I am grateful). I believe in America. I believe in our strength. I believe that we played an important part in the conditions that got us to this point and we have to take responsibility for that. I also believe there are problems within our government which we cannot control but we must do our best to hold it accountable. I think both candidates were terrible choices and both risk the safety of our nation inside and outside of our borders. I have no clue what the next four years will bring, but I pray for God’s peace and guidance. I urge you to remember WE are America; be better than what we are now. Reach out and love and support one another. No matter what choices the president makes, we make the choices that impact our daily lives in how we treat one another.

Today a 6 year old asked me if Donald Trump was a “bad man.” I paused. This innocent child is wondering if the person she is told is in charge of our country and our lives to the best of her ability to understand wants to know if the man who has been elected is going to cause harm to our wellbeing. My answer to her was, “since he has been elected, I hope that he makes good choices for our country.” That is the truth, but I wish I didn’t know it will be a such a stretch for him to do so. So that’s my prayer, that he will listen to advisors, pick men and women who are honest and trustworthy and make informed decisions instead of relying on rash impulses.

It’s taken me all day to get this far, I’m not sure if I will post more.

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Special Education Teacher: The Absurdity of Testing My Students

Diane Ravitch's blog

This teacher teaches children with severe disabilities. She is a BAT. She is conscientious and devoted to her work. She was rated “developing,” which is one step above “ineffective.”

She writes:

“In my career (and this is every year), I am potty training, teaching self hygiene, teaching self regulation, executive functioning, how to SPEAK, for God’s sake.

“I teach children how to hold a pencil, write their name, the fundamentals that they need and more. On top of that, I teach a ridiculous curriculum, mandated by NYS, to a self-contained class of what has been Kindergarten through 3rd graders, sometimes all in one class. I have taught class sizes from 12 to 17, when there were only supposed to be 12. This past year, my class was a mix of children with autism, children who are emotionally disturbed and unmedicated, children with speech and language impairments, and children who…

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Aaaaaand I’m back!

Hey Y’all!!! Sorry for the long hiatus.  My boyfriend had eye surgery at the end of August, so I was busy taking care of him, and I started a new job at the beginning of this month. With all of that going on I didn’t have much time to set up blog posts.  I miss it and I hope ya’ll enjoy the new stuff coming up.  I’ll try to be more consistent.  Today’s motivational Monday post is inspired by the aforementioned new job as a preschool teacher.  I love my adorable new babies and while many people think it’s just babysitting it is NOT.  Children at this age are the most impressionable they will ever be and it is important to surround them with positive experiences that challenge them to grow.  I love this job!

Real World Realizations

I spent 2 years after college trying to work on my anxiety and repair my self-confidence.  Even in going back to a job I had done before I felt incapable of doing things right.  I was always anticipating someone was going to tell me that I did everything wrong.  I was so fragile, when a coworker asked me in a non-threatening manner why I did something I started crying.  Eventually I gained more self-confidence but I was still waiting for the storm.

Fast forward to the end of the 2 years, it was time to send applications to schools.  I so desperately wanted a chance to finally make a classroom my own and in my own way prove to those smug college people they were wrong about me.  The summer went on and I wasn’t getting interviews or offers despite filling out applications across 4 states.  From the few phone interviews I received I had this gut feeling that former supervisor was creating doubt.  I started to fall into some self-pity when summer was coming to an end that I wouldn’t be taking off with my career just yet.  And at the seemingly last minute an opportunity came open.  I was grateful, excited and optimistic.

The principal wanted me within the next few days, so I packed a weeks worth of clothes, booked a hotel room and hit the road from GA to NC.  When I arrived, I was taken immediately on a tour of the school and introduced as the new 2nd grade teacher then given my classroom on the 4th and 5th grade hall full of extra stuff no one else in the school wanted.  I was also informed that I’d be with my class the beginning of the next week (school had already been in for 2 weeks).  I knew a total of 1 person (the connection that got me the job), had no place to live, much less enough underwear to last me til then.  None of that mattered, because I was so thrilled to have my chance.  I was fortunate to find a coworker that let me stay at her home for a few weeks and my mom was able to bring me some clothes and other necessities to get me on my feet.

Everything was new and a little scary.  I went to work everyday determined to do my best and try my hardest.  It was more difficult than I had imagined but not anything I thought would be too bad-at first.  As the weeks passed, I felt like I just couldn’t get my footing and my mentor had a very similar approach to those from my college experience.  I still kept pushing because I knew everyone has a hard time their first year and none of my problems seemed to be much worse than a few of my coworkers.  What I didn’t realize is that 1 or 2 of those weren’t so bad, but all of them together was just a recipe for the perfect storm.  My confidence plummeted and again I felt that I couldn’t do anything right.  Eventually I got angry.  It was my only solution to protect myself.  I still did everything I could for the kids but instead of being afraid of another criticism, I got angry at it and them for not actually helping me.   At the end of the year it was clear they didn’t want me there but it didn’t phase me because I didn’t want to be there.

In some ways my confidence was shaken and in others it was stronger than ever.  I decided there were experiences in that year that I wouldn’t let them take away from me.  I moved away from home, found a place to live, began a new relationship, and showed up for work everyday.  All of these are big steps especially on your own at the same time.  Those accomplishments will never be diminished in my mind.