I have a professional blog that I never post on. It seems that I'm too busy as a professional to even have time to professionally blog. If I write on this blog it goes out to all the parents at the school and anyone on the PTSA list serve. That is a lot of people and a lot of pressure. When you blog professionally you have to be appropriate (which is sometimes hard for me), spell check, grammar check and realize that you are going to get feedback... both positive and negative. I'm suppose to write on this blog as it is an unwritten suggestion of the school. Teaching at a 21st century school means that you should be blogging just like your students are. I'm also suppose to write on it because I'm an advocate for special education. I'm the only special ed teacher at the school and with that comes responsibility to educate, advocate, promote etc. I think special education is a very misunderstood banner. I tell people I teach special ed and they think I put in feeding tubes and clean up poop all day. They say, 'wow, you are a saint' or "sheesh, that must be hard". In reality I work with some of the most delightful kids. Ones who want to overcome their dyslexia, ADHD or understand why and what the autism spectrum is. Sure, I get refusals to work. I get an occasional fuck you. But who doesn't? I understand that the refusals and the fuck yous represent fear, misunderstanding, confusion etc. I try to figure out what the behavior is saying that the kid can't.
I work like a physician. This is what I tell the kids. If you have a rash or a cough and you go to the doctor they have to figure out what it is that is making you sick and what medicine will make you better. My job is similar, I find out why the kid can't read. What is it that is getting stuck and then I find the right curriculum to help him read. Sometimes I have to try different things. Sometimes it doesn't work as well as I'd like but sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. And a veil is lifted. And the kid figures it out. And he his self-esteem jumps so high and he feels like he can do anything, because he can. And then I sit back and say, "wow, my job rocks".
So, I need to blog today. I need to introduce myself to the community and help them to understand special education and what it means. I hope to clean up misconceptions and open eyes to behaviors and learning styles.
But, I'm also going to do something else today. I'm going to explain Madeleine. I'm going to tell everyone what happened. I'm going to tell them what it is like to be her mom. I know, I've told this story countless times but I'm going to put it out there for the world so that Madeleine maybe doesn't have to explain her leggie again. So that parents can talk to their kid about her leg in an educative and supportive way. I'm going to put it out there so others may understand that Madeleine's "disability" is on the outside but there are many kiddos whose disability is on the inside and you may not see it until that kid has a meltdown. And before you think, "God, what is up with THAT kid" or "where are his parents?" you will think, maybe he has a disability and cannot control his emotion and the way that child X is struggling with reading on the inside Child Y is struggling with emotion regulation and that he can't control it any better than X can control his dyslexia.
I'm going to write a professional blog post here, in my supportive and private place ;)
And then copy it there (insert hyperlink to prof. blog here).
Feel free to tell me what you think.... it will go out later today or tomorrow.