Serving 2 masters

As a special education teacher, I always feel like I serve two masters.  One of general education and one of special education.  I feel like I am constantly balancing between doing everything required by general education and my campus administration and everything required by special education and the district administration.  I am the only teacher on my campus for a classroom like mine, so I am like an island.  I look forward to and seek out opportunities to collaborate with other special education teachers.  It is difficult for general education teachers to relate to what I do all day long.  My students have significant deficits and even though they are chronologically 11 to 14, they may be developmentally between 2 years old to 8 years old.  Sometimes, I think they believe I am a babysitter, which is insulting.  I did have a coworker ask me and I quote, “Can your students learn?”  Needless to say, I was floored.  I did have a professional response, all the while thinking “Are you kidding me?”

Fortunately, I am in a large school district with a great deal of resources available to me and my students.  There are also other special education teachers with classrooms just like mine and district instructional specialists who are available to collaborate with.

My challenges rest in the fact that our time is limited and most of us are stretched thin with all that is demanded of us.  Even if those demands are sometimes self-imposed because we care so much about the success of our students.

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Hello From Room 247

My name is Ann Valenzon.  I am a teacher for students with special needs.  I have been in the classroom for more than 10 years now in a variety of settings from kindergarten to 8th grade.  Through the years, there have been a lot of challenges and a great deal of successes.  My unofficial motto is “no challenge to big, no victory to small.”  I am starting this blog to be real and give not only insight into my classroom, but also a broader perspective.

In researching blogs, I started reading several blogs related to education and  more specifically, special education.  I found one that I related to more than others.  The teacher like me has been teaching for a while.  And like me she is feeling a little burn out.  I keep hoping this burn out I am feeling is related to the rapidly approaching summer not the education field itself!!

I want to use this blog as a tool to recharge my love for education.  I am hopeful to make changes in special education, impact my students to success and to inspire other educators.  I want to share my knowledge of skills and strategies of educating in the classroom and transform myself into an educational consultant and FAPE coordinator.