so….i took my first day off on Friday. I had to get my retainer molded, but that’s not the only reason I took Friday off. I did so because Thursday afternoon I was asked to teach a second section of psychology…and I was told our entire special education program was going to change. My administrator started off by telling me how entirely sorry she was that things had to happen this way, but that it was absolutely necessary that I take on two sections of psychology to alleviate the need for a third elective to offer to students. I didn’t explode, I didn’t get upset, I just grabbed my laptop and started taking notes so I could get down exactly what she was telling me, which was this:
- I would no longer be required to accommodate lesson plans
- I would no longer be required to coteach with algebra
- I would need to teach two sections of Academic Success (which only impacts the schedule of like 5 students)
- I would need to teach two sections of Psychology (which impacts the schedule of 40 or more students)
- Teachers would be required to determine their own instructional accommodations and needs.
- I would no longer be required to coplan/collaborate with general education teachers.
Please note that items 1, 2, and 6 are actually direct requirements of my job. If you look up the job description of an Ed. Specialist, you will find explicit descriptions of co teaching, collaborating, and providing accommodations and modifications for general education teachers to support students with IEPs. I am currently taking a credentialing class on collaborating and consulting with general education teachers. A CLASS. I had to remind my principal of this fact, and that no matter what happened to my teaching schedule, those things would still have to happen somehow. At least providing accommodations and collaborating/coteaching. I’ve actually already calendared these things for the entire semester…each is occurring after school or on the weekend. I have to change our Special Ed program and how it runs. I will have to do a lot of pulling out, and my aide will be providing push in support. A part of me was relieved to hear this, but the other part was bummed, but only because I left class on Wednesday night very excited about the possibility of co-planning and co-teaching with the Algebra teachers. I was excited at the prospect of being able to actually define my role. Now I’m thrown back into limbo.
I spent all day Friday and Saturday planning for the psychology course, completing homework for my credentialing class, and working out the finer details of managing 19 young adults, 14 adults, and 1 paraprofessional. My eyes are ready to pop out of my head. I’ve been listening to Hercule Periot mysteries the whole time. I took a break Friday night to check out Sean’s art show in Venice. I am still trying to break out of my shell, and have conversations about things that have nothing to do with education. I definitely tried. We found a piece of art I’d actually hang in my own apartment.
Sean and I got together last night and had dinner at Mr. Cecil’s California BBQ in Culver City on the edge of Santa Monica with his roommate. We went to Trader Joe’s in Santa Monica and ran into some girls who knew Sean in high school. Here I tried a little harder at making the small talk. I enjoy meeting his friends or people who knew him when. I can tell he enjoys introducing me to these people. Its like that line in Chris Rock’s song “No Sex in the Champagne Room”: if he hasn’t introduced you to his friends, you are not his girlfriend. I’m totally his girlfriend. Today we donated a lot of his old electronic equipment to a recycling spot in El Segundo, and ended up in Manhattan Beach for some El Tarasco. YUM. I forgot out good that stuff is.
I still have quite a bit of work to do. I’ve made my To Do list, and am going to start knocking things out. Sean is playing Grand Theft Auto and I am working on my laptop. I like this arrangement.