It takes a special person to work in special education. I couldn't do it. I have known a lot of awesome special education teachers, Emily, the Heathers, Rhonda, etc. Last year was my first year teaching REI Chemistry (REI stands for Regular Education Initiative), and I met my collaborative special ed teacher, Lisa.
Lisa is a tiny lady with a big voice, an infectious laugh, and the heart of a lion. You always know where she is because you can hear her coming down the hallway if she's yelling or if she's laughing. Lisa is a no-nonsense lady who doesn't take anything from any of the kids, but once they break through her outer shell, they see that she is just a teddy bear inside (hee hee). She has several black belts and almost made the Olympic team when she was younger- how cool is that?!?
Lisa helps me stay sane, and sometimes our classes think we are nuts (sometimes they think we are the devil as well). No matter what they think, I couldn't teach my REI classes without her help. We feed off of each other and when one of us is having a bad day we carry each other. This year was a tough year for both of us, emotionally and physically. I know that if I didn't have her support, I would have crumbled halfway through the school year.
Last week we invited Lisa over for dinner (her husband was out of town or we would have invited him as well). Juliana LOVED her! Ryan and I have never seen her eat so well, and we think that it had something to do with our dinner guest. We grilled burgers for dinner, and Juliana sat across from Lisa. First she ate her part of Noah's burger. Then Ryan cut her some more of Noah's burger and she finished that. Then, she ate the rest of Noah's burger that he didn't finish!- Unheard of. At bedtime, she gave Lisa a big hug, which she doesn't usually do to people she meets the first time. While she was going to bed, Noah put Lisa to work helping him peel stickers to decorate a paper he was making. Noah wants to know when she's going to come back over and help him with his art projects.
So, thank you, Lisa, for all that you do. I look forward to working with you for many more years!
|Lisa refused to let me take her picture so I had to get it while she was coming out of another classroom (I know, almost stalker-like)|