Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weenie Leadership

Oh brother.  It turns out my administrator is very nervous about me remaining in communication with my students and paraprofessionals (who are also close friends) while on this one year leave. She and I enjoyed what I thought was a decent professional relationship last year.  She confided much to me, sought me for advice and had me help her clean up some messes.  This year she has called me a few times to help with some documentation.  However, as of late, the Dark Side has taken hold.  For reasons none of us understand, it has been strongly recommended that I not reach out and contact those with whom I have enjoyed intimate and personal relationships for 4 years. WTF?

I have not stirred any pots (since on leave), have not inserted myself where not wanted, have not used email inappropriately, have not visited school.  Have not contacted students except once the first days of school when their classroom teacher thought they needed to hear from me... and then it was three sentence... How are you, be good, if you need anything let me know.

After about three days of total paranoia and questioning myself, masturbating the issue, if you will, I decided this has nothing to do with me.  It has everything to do with my replacement's insecurities, my administrator's lack of leadership (so disappointing as I thought she was a keeper).  I also hear through the grapevine that my replacement is not working out so well.  HMMMM.  Really not working out.

So, let's explore the realities of taking a one year leave and the lasting consequences.  There are all sorts of emotional and logistical challenges.  It is a mess.  Like, Replacement Teacher (RT) has to struggle with how much to invest as one year means he/she will be moving on at the end of the school year and be reassigned to another position.  Do they move in all their teaching stuff?  Do they try to adopt enough of Teacher on Leave (TOL) philosophy and practice to help kids transition for that one year?  Or do they erase all traces of TOL and do their own thing?  Reminder, we are talking about a special ed resource position here.  Does TOL pack up all his/her materials and move out completely?  Do they server all ties with friends and students while on leave?  Do they try to keep those relationships up to date so coming back in one year is not like starting all over again?  Do they keep up relationships with kids so kids don't feel abandoned?  Should or should not the two teachers be in contact throughout the year keeping kids' interests in the forefront?  What is best for the kids? 

WHAT IS BEST FOR KIDS???  Oh, I forgot.  Kids last, not first.  

And why the hell is my administrator such a weenie that she can't be direct with me?  I have decided not to bother even approaching her.  Trust has been broken.  Not likely to be restored.

On a personal note.  Anyone else out there have special ed kids of their own? Do you find going in to school to volunteer in your kid's classroom a heart wrenching reality smack down?  Dear God.  My Superman (Autism) is a joy at home.  Verbal, happy, creative, engaged.  At school he looks sooo autistic!  He demonstrates all sorts of strange behaviors we never see at home. I find it unsettling and depressing.  I came home yesterday after 45 minutes in his classroom and slept for 3 hours!  Maybe inclusion is not the answer.  Perhaps alternative ed is. He can't access the curriculum when he is at school because for whatever reasons, his Autism takes over!  When we review at home or I reteach he gets it.  What to do?  

Which brings me to my biggest concern and a main theme of this blog.  Why are so many special ed teachers so damn ineffective and just stupid????  Forgive me.  But really, as a group, we are pretty disappointing.  Is it the system?  Is it weak teacher prep in college?  Are the wrong people entering speical ed for the wrong reason?  Why isn't someone counseling them out?  

Geez.  I am heading back to bed so I can escape.  This is just too much to have in my head all at once.

1 comment:

  1. Insecurity seems to be at the heart of a lot of troubles. Seriously. And you're right, it's not about you.
    Is it coincidence that your word verification asks me for "fable"?


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.