Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The first semester of teaching

It really has been a while since I have posted (even when my last post stated as much as it did).  I have now been teaching special education for a full semester at a wonderful school and I must say...

It is much different than I would have thought it would have been, in both good and bad ways.

In no way is this post meant to be a rant or in anyway portray that I do not love my job.  There is nothing more rewarding than teaching, but the paperwork and politics are far beyond what I could have imagined.  Now looking back at my half decade of experience as a para-educator, the educational systems have changed far beyond what I would have imagined for such a short amount of time.  The legalities of my daily paperwork and the documents I maintain can be beyond stressful, especially when you have high level administrators working the regulations as they see fit (mind you it is within the laws, but more restricting to the educators).  Out of my 8 hour day, I teach through direct service 1.5 hours a day, cover para lunches and breaks for 2.5 hours a day and the rest of the day (minus my 30 minute lunch when I am able to) I am doing paperwork of some sort, attending or facilitating meetings.

The downfall I am trying to point out here is the lack of time I get to teach directly.  I find the paperwork to be a pleasant challenge (as crazy as that sounds), but I miss teaching.  Although this post may sound negative, I do not mean for it to.  I love my job, I love the people I work with, I love the kids I work with, and love my direct administration.  What I do mean to point out is the limitations and pressures put on educators to follow laws that do not always mean the best for children.  While I spend much of my time assuring that I am within the law, it takes time away from my students and away from going above and beyond on a consistent level for my students and create lessons and activities that will create that sense of wonder I often saw in their eyes.

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