Mississippi Moments

Monday, July 20, 2009

First day of Special Ed Boot Camp. My head is fulllllllllllllll. So much to learn. And today was only on the law. Taking a break at the moment by the lake to have a little dinner, relax some, and watch two muskrats on the shore munching grass. It is plenty warm here. Supposed to be 100 tomorrow.

I am one of two general ed teachers in the class. I am the only private/parochial teacher in the room. I am also one of the youngest people in the room. Most are veteran special ed teachers. In the union. Every minute is used for giving us information or discussion. Unless it is used to listen to horror stories. And there were plenty of those just in the first hour, no, less than an hour. And I thought to myself--oh, this is going to be just dandy, listening to people complain and one-up each other with all the bad news." (Mind you, I don't mind "crabby time". SARK says we each get 15 minutes a day if we want and that it is healthy. Meg Ryan, in "French Kiss", took a long drag on an imaginary cigarette, hunched her shoulders over, and described what happens when we hold this crap inside--"Fester, Fester, Fester.")Still, it was going on and on and bloody on. And it was only 9:42 a.m. So I spoke up. Asked if we couldn't have some positive balance---stories and examples of when things DO work, are successful, highlight collaboration, make folks smile inside and out. I promptly got "jumped on" by the presenters. They said it was a good place for professionals to air their frustrations and get support. I said I agreed and that it was also appropriate for folks to air the positive, too. And that this was my first foray into the WA World of Special Ed and I intended to come away with hope, information, and empowerment tools for my toolkit. And I intended to leave with more hope than when I came....the room went silent. And after a bit, I said, "Well, I believe in the positive." More silence.
Several times throughout the day and even as I was leaving, people from the class came by to tell me thanks.For speaking up. For redirecting the momentum to include the other side. For helping them to think about the good. For wanting to have it shared which they said doesn't happen very often where they work. They wanted to share those stories with me. With the group. Which they did all day--people made an effort. Or started their comments with a smile and look over my way with, "Here's another one for you..."

We did have some horror stories. Tension. Frustrations. Overload. And we had the other, too.

Now, I have more than my fair share of homework to do. Hi-ho........


Post a Comment

<< Home