On Friday I got news. I am hired for for an ELA teaching position at a new school in a town close to me. It is a small school, thirty kids, and they have social emotional diagnoses. These are not easy students to work with as trauma and mental health issues can make giving instruction and building relationships difficult. Along with stories that will break even the most sturdy of hearts, they come with behavioral challenges and learning disabilities and gaps in their education. They need a lot.
I love teaching this population of students. However, teaching and helping young people with the world on their shoulders and some pretty significant demons on their back has not been a positive experience for me in poorly designed programs and school systems that did not understand and support the needs of a different type of classroom. It has not been an entirely positive experience when data was insurmountable numbers; too many students, too many issues, not enough time, oh and more paperwork and mandatory tasks. It was not positive when data became a stick and it was used to blame and beat.
But New School seems different. Small, supportive, well ran with the right values in the forefront.
I am so excited. I just know it in my bones that this is an opportunity to teach somewhere I will be able to do my job. Somewhere where I am going to make a positive impact and feel at home.
It is going to be a hella lot of work. Teaching always is no matter what. I wasn’t really looking to go back to teaching but if I’m honest with myself, I needed this. I feel driven and inspired in a way I haven’t felt in a long while.
So, I am trying to adjust priorities and I may need to post less. I have gotten pretty addicted to posting every day and making great progress on all parts of this project. But, I also need to not drive myself crazy. I will continue posting every day for as long as I can but once I meet these students, in two weeks only!, I know my focus will shift. Don’t worry, I always come back to you. 😉
PS: Teaching is never easy. It’s especially not easy when teaching a classroom full of students with especially heavy stories. I learned about myself that I need to write about my thoughts, feelings, struggles, and successes as a teacher to stay sane and positive. You can check out that story on the other blog: