Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's official - I don't care! YES I AM A PUSHY MUM!!

I have sent off my application to study my masters in special ed next year. So I have to accept that I am pushy. I am really looking forward to it although at the same time I am dreading the thought of having to fit more into a pretty packed day. At the moment I teach a program that is linked to Sydney Uni - so no, special ed is not even a small feature of our school. There may be students with dyslexia etc but as our focus is very much on academic preparation it is not like a typical high school where special ed training is always going to be useful.

I love teaching and over the years I have had various special needs students but usually in my home room or roll call class as the subjects I teach at senior level don't really lend themselves to many students with intellectual special needs. In starting this program I am really following an interest that has very much blossomed while watching Hannah learn.

I am so worried about how High School will be for her - after all I have taught in them for nearly 20 years - I know how tough they can be for 'weaker' students. SO there is a part of me that is doing this as a way of maintining some control over Hannah's ed. We hope that she will be able to attend a mainstream school but I am not absolutely committed to the idea - especially in later years it may be necessary (but difficult I know) to enrol her in a special school. There is a very good special school here and ultimately I just want what is going to be best for Hannah - in social, life and learning skills.

So if I really like it I and I ever go back to a typical High School I will have something to offer students and their families with special needs. Something that I fear I will have trouble finding myself yet something that I think is important - empathy and dedication. Too often I have seen teachers fight over who gets the top class (never the bottom), I have heard teachers say that 'so and so' shouldn't be here - they should be in a special school or in a special needs unit - as if that absolves us from responsibilty for these children. Caring for Hannah has given me a much clearer view on such things - a veiw I am eager to help infiltrate the school system with.

If I don't return to a regular school then I will still have a better ability to help support my beautiful girl - so I decided to go ahead and apply. As my mother said - if I wait unitl I have more time I'll probably never get there. I am looking forward to some intellectual stimulation too - in teaching it can be all too easy to say " I've taught this a million times" and never step outside and approach things from a different angle - it isn't a feeling I've ever had but I know there is a clear risk of it if I don't keep challenging myself.

Keeping focused on your students also helps because each of them are different - and the dynamics in each class are different too - even though the content that I am teaching has been pretty mcuh the same for the past 5 years. I want teachers with that focus to be teaching Hannah. All her learning now is done through play - it is FUN! I don't want that to change - I want her to enjoy learning.

So assuming I am accepted (which is pretty much a given) I hope that I can somehow juggle everything to fit it in. It is where my head is at the moment anyways so should be an interesting experience.

Modelling their new undies. In a half baked idea to assist with the toilet training initiative that is going to become priority number one in Jan I have bought the twins some undies. At the moment I put them on them about 30 minutes prior to their dinner and bath - the idea being that they will be more aware if they have an accident in them and this increased awareness may help them learn to request the toilet BEFOREhand. Also as we head into the holidays I have more time to mop the floors!


Camille said...

Sorry I was out for a few month. Our internet disconnects all the time and it drives me crazy...
Your little girl is very, very lucky to have you for a mom.
You are a teacher and you have the same worries I have for Emma. You just confirmed to me that the regular school system is not always the best way to go...
So far we have been lucky. Emma has a great EA. Next year, she will be in grade 1 and I know that we are really at the mercy of the next teacher, the next EA. I could not stand leaving Emma in the care of someone who does not really want to be around her...
Keep on going; somehow I know that you will make a difference!!!

Michelle said...

good luck with your application! Sounds like you've made a great decision!