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An interesting development and a little more clarity

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Today I got an interesting phone call. It was from the superintendent of our school system, with the Special Education director and Curriculum Director on the line to talk to me about the upcoming school year. For those who have followed me for a while the next part will be repeat, but to make sense of the extent of what this discussion offered me, it is necessary to set the scene.

I am a 70 year old Special Education teacher and the students I work with are mostly students who live is a residential facility full time.They come from all over the state. They have very significant emotional and cognitive disabilities along with extreme behaviors. My students are a unique population and I LOVE each of them. I have worked with them for nearly twenty years. When they are in school, there are 2 aides and at least 2 of the residential facility's staff with them. Typically I have 6-8 students and I often work with others after school when they are unable to safely attend school. These kids are unable to benefit from remote education. They need one on one attention and they need truly special education. I have had a unique and special relationship with them and their caregivers.

The call today was an interesting one designed to do several things at one time. First, since the residential facility has been on complete lock down status from March 13 to the present, they are very concerned about sending their 24 students back to school this fall and exposing them to a possible outbreak that could sweep through the entire population of the facility. Secondly, they are aware of my concerns, risk factors and that I also am not ready to retire.(These were all discussed at my interview for the Teacher of the Year in May). This offer would solve problems for the school system and for the residential facility. They offered me the opportunity to work with and monitor all 24 of their students, using work provided by the students' teachers and those teachers would still be responsible for their IEPs. I would provide work for my students and work with the students daily. This is actually a dream situation for me because I won't have to retire, I get to see and work with my kids, and my exposure will be dramatically limited due to the continued complete lock down of the facility.

I feel like this has a strong chance of working out well for me! It also presents me with some opportunities to try some new strategies and new technology with my students. About 18 of the 24 kids have been or are currently scheduled to be in my class. I am excited about this.

Thinking practically, I will put in a request for a raise as this is significantly more work than a typical class. Doubt I will get it but I know I would not get it if I don't ask.

Be blessed and covered with love, laughter, and just a little bit of luck!

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