I have been watching what has been happening to the public education field nationwide and I have been so angry!! So I have been trying to do my piece. I've become more active in my union, and I became a Badass Teacher (BATs), especially at my state level. I have participated in social activism at several different events, and have helped plan some of them. I have written emails and made phone calls to my elected officials, and I have gone directly to my state legislators to speak my truth. I will be presenting several new business items related to special education testing at our state NEA conference. I am doing this with a great group of people in the Seattle area, and I faithfully follow many others doing the same thing in their states.
Yet, we hardly seem to make a dent. Corporations and Millionaires are taking over public education to the detriment of teachers and students everywhere and I have no idea how to stop it except to keep up doing what I am doing. But it's not good for my health. It also leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So I have been looking at different options for what to do with a Special Education degree and I was heartened to see that there are job alternatives out there. I am not quite ready to throw in the towel yet, but it felt good to know I have options when I do.
I think part of my problem is that I had a rough start to my year and that we are now hitting the worst part of the year as far as workload, due to alternative testing (don't even get me started), and preparing for ESY, as well as transitions for both incoming students and outgoing high schoolers. What saves me is my own situation. My students are great, as are the paraprofessionals I work with. When I focus on that, it doesn't seem so bad. And the counter to all the work is the excitement of planning for a new year. I already know who my new students are going to be (barring any changes) and it's fun to come up with new activities for them. My group will be lower academically than in the past 2 years so I will also have a different focus. I just need to hang in there awhile longer. Thank god for Spring Break and Summer vacation, which will be here before I know it.
Thanks for letting me vent!