So what would you like to know? I am a pretty standard high school teacher that suffers from regular bursts of insanity. The first probably being my job. I teach algebra to special education students. Yup. You heard me. It is the hardest, most challenging, bang your head off the wall frustrating job ever. And I love it. This was not where I planned to end up when I headed off to college all those years ago, but I firmly believe I am where I am meant to be. My certifications in math and sped also agree that this is my place.
As the great state of New York regularly strives to make me a better educator by continually making my job more difficult, I spent a couple summers ago scouring the internet in an attempt to figure out how best to reach my lower functioning students. I happened upon Sarah Hagan’s blog, Math = Love, and learned about interactive notebooks. This was not a light bulb moment. This was a deer standing on the highway under those construction lights moment. I jumped in with both feet and then decided to go for it and implemented them in every single one of my classes. See? Moments of brilliance tempered by moments of insanity. That was last year, and we all survived. Some of us even thrived.
This year’s particular brand of insanity dealt with technology. My school is 1:1, meaning all students in grades 7-12 were given a Chromebook. As a special education teacher, this makes me happy. Most of my kids are not connected, so this levels the playing field to a certain extent. In anticipation of this, I decided to go back to school. And not just for a couple of classes. I enrolled in the EdTech Masters program at Boise State. Do you see a theme here? I cannot seem to do anything halfway. This is my fourth semester, and I don’t think I have lost my mind yet, but the jury is still out on that one. It is all online, it is challenging and so much work. But I am learning a lot, meeting some great people, and for the most part, I am enjoying myself.
Just to round out the wild ride that is my world, I am the math teacher for both the middle and high school summer net programs. And do summer math tutoring for the special education department. And am the advisor for our Gay Straight Alliance. And mentor new teachers. And spearhead the donations for a huge fundraiser for a program in my high school that helps our families in poverty. In my free time, I like to….right. Who am I kidding? Free time? What is that?
On a more personal note, I am a single mom of two amazing daughters. The oldest is out of the nest and happily living her life. I thank God every day that she settled (so far) only about an hour away from me. I see her at least once every other week, more often if she has laundry that she needs to do. My youngest just graduated from high school and is headed to SCAD in September so my nest will soon be empty. The dog and I are starting to eye each other, each of us coming to our own realizations of how life is going to change for us, and that we are going to have to come to terms with each other. If he quits using the dining room as his personal rest area, I will quit threatening to toss him in the pool. It will be interesting to see where that goes….
So there you have it. My life, such as it is. Crazy, hectic, overwhelming and everything I want it to be right now.