Shabby Miss Jenn

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year of Wade

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Apology

I am a former special education teacher.  It is not a position that I sought out, but rather, it is a position that sort of chose me. 

When I moved to TX in the fall of 2003, I decided that it was finally time to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I always had the desire to teach, but for whatever reason, I had avoided that path.  I enrolled in a program to become certified and also applied to become a substitute teacher.  My very first sub position was in a special education self-contained classroom as an assistant, which turned into a seven week long term job.  When I walked into that classroom, I didn't know what autism was.  I didn't know much about Down's Syndrome except that the kids were "so cute and sweet".  Needless to say, I didn't have a clue about an IEP or an ARD or what the heck LRE meant.  However, I quickly learned that I had finally discovered my calling.  That next school year, a teaching position opened at that same school, for those same group of kids.

In August 2004, my journey began.  I really, truly thought I was an empathetic teacher; not only with the students but with the parents.  Even though I didn't have their same experiences, I really tried to "walk a mile in their shoes" when making decisions.  Two and a half years later, I realized my empathy was probably really sympathy.  As nice and understanding as I tried to be, there was no way I could possibly understand their lives.  At least not to the depth of what I thought.  On May 22, 2007, that realization hit home like a ton of bricks.  As four and a half years have passed by, I have grown and learned so much more about disabilities than any book could ever teach me.  Having Wade has made me second guess a lot of decisions I made as a teacher.  I came across a blog a couple weeks ago that sums up my feelings exactly.  This blogger has managed to share the same thoughts, feelings, and regrets that I have had for the past four years.  The title of her post is:  An Apology From Your Child's Former Teacher.

Instead of writing my own apology letter, I thought I'd just let her letter speak for me.  You can click here to read it.  Honestly, I couldn't have said it any better.  I hope you enjoy reading Leigh's post.  The rest of her blog is amazingly honest and "real" as well.  Definitely a blog to place on your list of readings!