Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Next Chapter

I have 5 1/2 more days left of this school year and then I will be a stay at home mom.  I don't know how long I will be able to stay home and not work out of the home, but I plan to enjoy it while I can!

Being a Special Education teacher has been a huge part of my life for the past 6 years.  It is extremely challenging and the most rewarding thing I had done until I became a mother.  As excited as I am to stay home with Austin, I am going to miss teaching so much.  I had my last IEP of the year (a meeting where we determine what kind of services that child will receive and the goals we will be working on for the year).  I assumed I would be elated after having this last meeting, but I was so sad.  This child made such amazing progress in one school year, I just want to know where she'll be in 1, 5, even 10 years from now.  The look on that parent's face when I reported her child's progress was unforgettable.  Those are the moments I will truly miss. Knowing that the work I do all day really does make a difference, no matter how small the progress may seem.  And that these children need someone to fight for them.  I loved that part of my job!  I have been so lucky to have a job that is so rewarding.  It is emotionally and physically draining, but so rewarding.

Because it is so draining, it's hard to come home and feel like I don't have the energy I need for my OWN child.  I look forward to spending more time with Austin and making more of a difference in his life and being the person that fights for what he needs, just like I did with my sweet students.  I miss him so much during the day. It will be hard to leave teaching, but I can't wait to spend more time with my buddy.

I look forward to always being an advocate for children with special needs, in any way that I can.  It's something I feel very strongly about. (Just ask Jeff - he gets to hear ALL about how I feel about my job).  I'm sure I will go back to working in the Special Education field in the future.  I can't wait to teach my own children about being accepting of EVERYONE.  I truly hope they will be understanding of the differences between them and their friends/peers.  It is heartbreaking to see a child not be accepted by their peers because they are "different."  Although I am quitting in a few days, I feel like I will always be a Special Educator.  I don't think I could truly quit, even if I wanted to. :)