Today was a really good day. All days at school are really good, actually. Even the hard days.
Today was a really hard day.
For those of you who may not know, I’m a special education teacher. My “specialty” is working with kids with moderate/severe disabilities and/or autism. My favorite kiddos are the ones that attack you… literally. I think it’s because I like to be the calming presence (fingers crossed) that helps them resolve their stress (again, fingers crossed). But this year I’ve been challenged because that isn’t at all what my current position entails. This year I’ve done inclusion. Lots of inclusion. And it has opened my eyes to so many wonderful things. Teaching reading and math and writing… Lots o’ fun! Oh the possibilities that inclusion with peers can bring to my little ones!
But sometimes at the end of the day I miss something. That something, I think, is my “specialty”. I miss having students who are aggressive but I have to/ get to smile and show them love anyway. I miss having students with no verbal skills but better communication than any human I know. I miss being so dog-tired when I get home because I’ve (possibly literally) run a marathon that day.
These aren’t things most people would miss.
But the reason today was a really good, really hard day was because I was given the opportunity to step back into my “specialty” for one day and be reminded of how special it really is to me. I got hit, scratched, almost bite (but I snuck away… woohoo!). Milk was spilled, potatoes were launched, tears were shed. I got be silly and dance and then serious and play patty-cake (really, that was a very serious moment of my day haha). I got the opportunity to be personally responsible for teaching a child how to tie his shoes. And all throughout, I was able to practice skills with kids who some might think are unteachable. Who some might say, “Well he can’t talk, so how is he supposed to do that?” or “She just whacked you! Send her home!” (To both of whom I would have to disagree.) And I got some really big hugs at the end of the day…
Yep. With them is where I long to be. Thank you, Lord, for giving me this passion. Let me use it. Always.