teachers on vacation

 I have been waiting and holding my breath for spring break. I have craved time to read, write, walk, eat good food that has been cooked by someone else, sleep in late(r) than I do on a work day, watch movies or multiple episodes of shows that only I like. And yet, as I am in bed at night, after I set aside the book I am currently reading…what do I think about? The great American novel? The exotic locations that I plan to visit once I figure out how to get there without getting on an airplane. None of the above. I am thinking about my students. Room 22, Resource for the 3rd-5th grade friends that I work with every day. Thinking about how to better organize their binders. Thinking about the IEP I have to write later this month. Thinking about how happy I am to discover that the one teacher that drives me completely out of my mind is moving to another school in the fall. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

Thinking about W. who seems to be regressing in terms of behavior and willingness to be in her general education classroom. I thought she was moving in a good direction and all of a sudden, it seems, she has been fighting leaving the resource room and going back to her classroom. Why? I wrack my brain trying to figure out what could be causing this change. I am at a loss. And she can\’t tell me. Ugh.

Thinking about M who has been caught writing and passing notes to and about boys in her classroom. She is the one that my para keeps telling to \”act like a lady\”which I both cringe at and agree with in equal measure, though that language has no place in a classroom in 2021. I\’m sorry, act like a what?  She is beginning to notice what catches the attention of the boys at school and she is working to develop those skills. Her teacher and the school social worker have noticed it  too, and they are trying to nip this nonsense in the bud. Statistically, she is at greater risk of being a victim of sexual harassment or early sexual activity because of the deficits in her home life and I worry about that every single day. What happens when using her body for attention is quicker and easier than working to decode words and solve math problems? When she is less interested in pleasing her teachers and more invested in gaining popularity and attention with her peers? This is what keeps me up at night.

Thinking about my paras who seem overwhelmed and exhausted, unable to remember things I have told them over and over again. Thinking that I am not doing a very good job of training and guiding them in the work I want them to do in my room. Thinking that this year has wrung the joy out of them.

Thinking about my student teacher and her rocky path ahead. Am I emphasizing the right things? Is she learning what she needs to know, what is most important about teaching? Hoping that she doesn\’t give up the fight before she gets into a classroom of her own. We need more good, quality teachers to replace the ones who have burned out, left in a panic or retired out of genuine exhaustion. I think she may be one of the good ones. I am trying to do right by her.

Is this what happens to all teachers on vacation? Is is happening because I am trying to clarify the audience for this blog? I remember searching for a funny and encouraging blog about teaching special education during graduate school and not being able to find anything. I want to find those teacher people and share the good, the bad, the ugly and especially the funny because that is what keeps me going to work every day, the funny. And the students.