Tuesday, March 5, 2013

suddenly it hits you...

     I took this job of a part-time paraprofessional with autistic middle school students (6th, 7th, & 8th graders) because I needed a job.  Once upon a time, teaching was my goal, but it slipped away as life got in the way.  I had actually started college with a goal of becoming a special education teacher, but the closest I ever got to that was teaching at a university.

     I heard you chuckle.  Honestly, when you think about how challenging it is as we get older to force our brains to learn new things ... well, anyway ... I never imagined that I would teach younger students, and got away from pursuing that dream.

     But the last month that I've been working along side these [awesome] kids, I've learned how much I love to see that light bulb go off in their eyes when they make the connection between what is on paper and what ... is.  Even with math [and yes, some of those light bulbs have been my own ~ I spoke English as my first language and never learned how to speak math ... until now].  I love the one-on-one connection with the one student I shadow most of the time as I gently guide the learning to what will be easiest grasped.  I've even created pyramids, cones, and cylinders out of paper to explain how to find the volume of them.

     Learning is something that sometimes takes more than one sense.  To see the problem ... to hear it explained ... to speak and paraphrase the learning of it ... to hold it in the hand and examine it closely.  If I could bring in a small kitchen, we would learn how fractions can make the best brownies when you measure the ingredients just right.

     Tomorrow I will miss a day of work so that I can attend training, and this afternoon when I told my shadow that I'd be gone ... the disappointment in my shadow's voice touched my heart.

     I won't be able to apply for the math/history teaching position that will open next school year because I can't afford the cost of testing to get certified in them ... but that is actually okay.  I think being a paraprofessional is what I was called to do.  To change one life at a time.

     My life has already been changed ...
Source: WeHeartIt.com

1 comment:

  1. I am thrilled with the positive new directions in your life.

    ReplyDelete

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