Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

We're going to keep this Thankful Thursday brief.  Why?  In all honesty, the last week of school is like throwing normalcy into a food processor and giving it a quick whirl around the block.  Thus is the life of a high school teacher.

This week, I am thankful for my job.  I mean, I'm really, really, really thankful for my job.  And it's not the income.  If I wanted to swim in money like Scrooge McDuck, I would have gone down another career path.  I'm underpaid and I do not care.  What my job lacks in funding is made up for in important life lessons. 

Obviously not a public school teacher. 
For those of you who don't know, I'm a special education teacher.  I talked a little bit about my struggles with the role I play in this blog.  I teach students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.  I work with a wide range of disabilities, and each presents a unique challenge.  Teaching in my classroom is kind of like working on a 1,000,000 piece puzzle and all of the pieces are the same color. 

While my job is full of challenges, the feelings of accomplishment I get when a student finally "gets" a concept is overwhelming.  Often {and I absolutely hate admitting this} during my planning period, I just have to cry because I'm so happy that a student has finally met a particular goal.

Even the tiniest accomplishments in my classroom warrant a great deal of praise.  A student learned how to tie shoes on a dressing board recently.  That.  Was.  Huge.  To most people something so commonplace wouldn't even warrant a second glance, but in my classroom, we celebrated such an awesome accomplishment. 

Yesterday, a general education student asked me when I was going to become a "real" teacher.  Unfortunately {for both of us}, I couldn't tamp down my temper before angrily blurting out that I am a "real" teacher.  We both ended up apologizing to each other, he for his comment, and I for my temper. 

I'm thankful for my job because my students teach me so much about faith and trust.  They are almost completely reliant on the adults around them to care for their needs and they are able to trust so easily.  While this may seem a little dangerous, to me it speaks volumes.  What if we could all trust and rely on Jesus the way my students trust and rely on me?  What if we could all have that childlike faith, even as adults? 

I'm thankful to learn each day about that wonderful childlike faith.  Without meaning to, my students force me to grow in my relationship with Christ each day.  I think that is something to be truly, truly thankful for. 

To find out more about my class and the way we work, check out

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