Dear special education family,
It is bittersweet to say that I will be moving into a general education position this fall. Out of respect for the incredibly hard work that you all do, I wanted to give a bit of explanation.
I have always had a special niche in my heart for reading and writing, and especially teaching. However, as a young girl at Syracuse Jr. High, I was able to go down to the elementary and help my mother a few times with the "Readiness" class. I fell in love with those kids and helping them seemed to make my life more complete. Then, I was able to take "Intro to Special Education" with Judy. Her heart and passion for her job solidified my desire to become a special education teacher. I was asked to interview only a few months after graduating college, and I've been here ever since.
Last summer, I set out to become "highly qualified" in English and Math. By the grace of God, and support of Sarah and Ryan along with other friends and family, I was able to achieve this goal.
Then a little birdie mentioned that I could actually teach those classes with this new qualification on my licence. I started to give it serious thought this last year after returning from maternity leave. To be honest, it was pretty tough. I've worked through tough years before, but when the 8th grade English position opened, I knew it was a chance to try something different, yet also (hopefully) be something I could do well.
My family and I prayed over this decision, that it would be God's will, not mine. When I applied, I honestly didn't know if they'd even consider me. When Susan offered me the job, there was a quiet peace and reassurance in my heart, so I accepted.
We all know this job is stressful and demanding. I've always thought that we needed to steal that old armed service slogan: "It's the toughest job you'll ever love." I have learned, lost and loved more than any college class could ever prepare you for. Each one of you have poured into my life in your own way, and for that I am eternally grateful. I take all of this with me as I forge a new path in my life.
I sent this email out this last week. Initially I wanted to send it for the people I've worked so closely with these last 10+ years. But the more I thought about it, I felt I needed to document this in my life somehow. Solidify it in my memory. I tend to be more of a roll with the punches type-a-gal. I'm one of those that stammers a little when asked my children's birth weights. Those things tend to slip through the pockets of my mind. Things that in the moment don't seem like too big of a deal, but later I wish I had taken the time to make it more permanent.
So - I don't want to miss this. I don't want the school year to start in a rush and miss this change in direction. I don't want to gloss over where I came from and the people that got me here. They deserve much better than that.