Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Life's Lessons

So, I'm halfway done with my student teaching.  Half. way.  What?  How did time fly so fast?  I really enjoyed working with my high schoolers, and I had a amazing time visiting our area's transition house (which is the type of environment I would prefer to work in).  But, now?  I'm in an elementary school.  With second graders.  As in, with 8 year olds.  Holy different ball game.  This is definitely different than where I came from, and it takes some skills I haven't acquired yet.  Pray for me that I magically figure it out soon, and fast.  While these kiddos are cute, they are certainly a handful!

And while you're praying...please see an extra special prayer for me.  I applied for a dream position with a non-profit that I would just die to work for.  It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I have a molecule of a chance of getting it, but I just had to try.  It's not in the local area, and I'm not sure how the logistics would work yet (umm..hey, honey!  Love you!), but if it works out, then it will work out.  I just know it.

So, eight weeks, a massive paper, three observed teachings, and a massive state exam to go before I finish my MA in Special Education.  That long awaited degree that I may never use.  Why is that?  Well, I figured out towards the end of this whole process that there are very few special education teaching positions that I really aspire to get.  The whole SPED world is a lot different than I imagined.  While I learned so much and I will never, ever take for granted the knowledge that I gained, I also realized within myself that the passion I feel for these kids is strong.  So strong, that I won't just take any job that's out there. 

My desire in the community is to work with the kids that are called "severe, low incidence," which are kiddos with pretty severe cognitive or physical disabilities.  This community, at least where I am at, is pretty small.  I am so proud of my experiences and what I have accomplished, but I realized that what I really want to do is to develop ways that this group of special people can live as independently as possible.  Foundations out there like The Down Syndrome Association and Transition Centers, that's where the action I want to be is.  Bridging the gap between these guys and the local community is so important.  Not just to them and their families, but to all of us.

So, I'm not closed to the teaching profession.  Not one bit.  There's still a lot of good that needs done in the schools, and the kids need that.  But, I'm also branching out.  Looking at different non-profit perspectives and possibly going back to getting a Master's in Non-Profit Management.  Keeping my options open.  Because despite our current economic situation (hello government shutdown!), I like what I do for the military.  I wouldn't be miserable continuing my civil service.  But, I'm expanding my horizons.  I'm finding my happy.  Which, I guess until recently I didn't know I was allowed to.  So even though it's hard, and I've been stressed, and there were (are) easier routes, I will find my happy.  I have to.  And helping people who need that extra push.  Well, that's my happy.  So, I'm on my way.  Even if it's just volunteering.  I'm on my way. 


Jen said...

Sending lots of prayers your way!!!! :) Fingers crossed.

Katiellirb said...

Wow! I have all my fingers crossed and prayers sent that you get the job! I'm soo happy that you are on the right track career wise. You may not have the perfect job, but you know what you want. And honestly, that's about a million steps ahead of me :)

Stephanie said...

Have you thought about working at a university? There may be more opportunities there to do the community connection you are wanting but not the full on teaching aspects. It might be a good melding of both worlds for you. I work in the Office of Disability Services at a mid-size university, and I feel that I use my teaching background every day. Just a thought!