If anyone is still reading this blog, bless you. It has been a long and arduous four months.
I spent those four months student teaching at the same schools where I was a student (middle and high). I spent most of the semester under attack from the colleagues who were supposed to mentor me. Everything I said was deemed as “arrogant” or “calling other colleagues’ experiences irrelevant.” I was told I did not care about my students–but when I asked point-blank for evidence of this, I was told, “There are no specific examples; it’s just how they feel.” I was told that the questions I asked about teaching, particularly a specific testing policy that would affect students with reading-related learning disabilities, were “appalling.”
Worst of all, I was eventually placed on observation status in my mentor teacher’s classroom–at a desk facing the wall. The teacher said, in front of students, “See, she can be effective” (subtext: when she wants to). What was worst, however, was that my Christian faith was called into question, and I was demonized, told I had an attitude of wanting to be served because I asked for help and reasonable modifications. It was “suggested” that I work only with kids who had profound disabilities, on mini-lessons and mini-activities.
My family and I are still looking into how to handle this flagrant display of discrimination and general nastiness. As you might guess, I haven’t felt much like writing for a long time. But rather than let this blog die completely, I wanted to get back to it and nourish it again. So, prepare for new posts, new topics, and hopefully, new learning opportunities.
As for my teaching career, it’s not kaput–I’ll just be looking at options outside my local school system. Actually, public school in general has me pretty turned off right now. I’m also going to become a published writer this July and am working on a second novel, so I’m going to be focusing more on that. Most importantly for this blog’s audience, though: my above-mentioned experiences have made me even more eager to pursue disability advocacy and be the best advocate for others possible. This may mean softening my stance on some things and hardening it on others. (For example, keep your eyes open for a post on how and when self-contained classrooms can be beneficial–if handled correctly). But whatever else my experiences mean, they mean I have returned, and am glad to be back. Blessings, all.