I Can’t Fix This

“He must have neglected to turn it in.”

This is what The Boy’s language arts special education teacher told me when I let her know I had sent in the reading log for last week. She also said she doesn’t like to go into his backpack because it would be invading his privacy.

While I understand the sentiment, it smacks of ineptitude. That would be like a physical therapist ignoring your issue with your elbow because they didn’t want to ask you to expose it.

She went on to say that he is not completing work in class, which is an IEP goal, because he is spending too much time drawing. His TA (yes, his TA) came up with an incentive program for this, but the teacher claims that because the TA isn’t in her room for her classes, The Boy does not want to participate. And it’s hard because she’s got all the other kids in there.

Well, I’m sorry. Darn it, life is hard, and sometimes you just have to do your job. You can hope and wish and pray that your student with autism will suddenly find his missing executive functioning skills under a desk in the corner, but most people work on them instead. Because that’s what they get paid to do, and that’s what they’re in it for.

Could I call another IEP meeting? Sure. Would it do any good? I think you can cure this as much as you can cure autism itself. I think this is a response email, possibly cc’d to the TA who is the only freaking one at the school with a clue, and maybe we can muddle through the rest of 8th grade.

I hate that my son’s education has come to this. But there are only so many times you can bang your head against a wall. This particular issue is the teacher’s and not The Boy’s. And it’s not my job to fix it.

BANG HEAD HERE

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Enjoying Work

I have to say that I am really enjoying my new job.  And it’s been since about 2007 since I could say that.

It’s a great feeling.

I Need You on the Job Every Day - NARA - 534704

For many, many reasons, teaching became less and less enjoyable over the years to the point that I would cry on the way to work in the mornings because I really just didn’t want to go.  Might sound juvenile, but it’s a pretty desparate feeling, especially when you are a single mom and have to provide for your son.  There is no opt out, there is no quitting to try to find something more enjoyable.  And teachers really don’t have that luxury like some other professionals do.  They don’t have the possibility of quitting and making the same pay in a lateral move, which is absolutely ridiculous, but I digress.

And it hasn’t been easy being unemployed for half a year, either.  I wouldn’t recommend it for the weak of heart.  Your self esteem takes quite a few dings.

But opportunity arose when The Man bought this house outright, and I had to take it.  I didn’t want to be miserable anymore.  Today, I’m so glad I did, and I’m so thankful for my new job that I enjoy.  I feel capable and trusted, appreciated and challenged.  I’ve been waiting a long time to feel like this again.

Have a great day, People! 😀

The Look

"Now I can buy the things I love^ Here's ...You know the saying about there being a fine line between bravery and stupidity?

Increasingly, I have been getting “the look” from people I know and work with.  The look that says the person can’t quite tell which one I am, brave or stupid.  This “idea” of giving it all up and moving south.  “Is she really gonna do it?” is what that look says.  Mostly it’s people who don’t know me too well, because the people who know me well also know it isn’t an “idea” — it’s a reality.

I can understand the look.  I can understand the thought process behind it.  But the truth is, my parents prepped me for big moments like this the entire time I was growing up.  Education, education, education was the key to independence, independence, independence.  For a long, long time, I assumed it was freedom from depending on someone else.  But it isn’t just independence from other people.  It’s also independence as my own person.  Independence from a job, career path, lifestyle, society, thought, etc.  The ability to think for myself and know myself enough to know when to walk away.  To walk toward something simpler, easier, more satisfying.  Toward a smaller pile of money, sure, but much more happiness.  And not just for me, but for my boy, too.

And it’s not all that easy.  Some things will be infinitely harder down there.  But there will be love.  Lots of love.  And I guess I never quite stopped believing that love is enough, especially now that I know what true love feels like.

The most interesting part about “the look”?  Mixed in with all of the incredulity, disbelief, and sizing up?

There’s more than a little jealousy in there, too.