I have a friend, who was a leave replacement for a Special Education teacher last year. She, while is an EXCELLENT teacher, does not actually possess a special education “certification”. She did an outstanding job with the students, despite being practically bullied into the position.
Fast forward to this year…
There is a teacher assistant position open, within a Special Education classroom. The district puts her through a somewhat torturous interview, only to tell her that she can’t have the job because she does not possess the special education certification. Did someone get amnesia since last year? What happened when she was the actually TEACHER in the room? She still didn’t possess the certification, and yet it was easier for them just to slip her into that spot. ISN’T IT AMAZING how the administration does what is convenient for them?
“You can’t put students first, if you put teachers last.”
There are momentary gems in the day of a substitute teacher. They are rare, but they are there. I’m talking about those little moments, those beautiful ‘ah-ha’s’ when you tell yourself, YES, this is why I wanted to be a teacher. THIS is why I got into education.
A colleague of mine was working in a collaborative class with a special education teacher. It was a LifeSkills classroom, and many of the students who are at home in that classroom live with some form of Autism. When I have had a privilege to work in that classroom, it’s like a breath of fresh air, a wonderful teaching moment, for both me and the students. For as much as we teach the students in this class, they also teach us, the educators.
So, the general education teacher asked, if you could go anywhere in the world, anywhere at all, where would it be? Fiji? Paris? London? Australia? Mexico? Hawaii? Disneyland?
The student responded with such gusto, such excitement, such pride, such JOY.
A beautiful moment indeed.
I hope this puts a smile on your face, warmth in your heart, and gives us educators the perspective that we sometimes need.