Friday, June 15, 2018

What Do I want To Be When I Grow Up?

Recently, I was given the opportunity to work in a first grade classroom as a sort of Para Educator. It was an unpaid internship that gave me the chance to see if I would like to get a job in the classroom setting. I have one word to sum up how I felt about my experience...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Did I say LOVE?!?!?! If not, let me tell you one more time. I absolutely LOVED IT!

When I was young, I always wanted to be a teacher. I have always loved working with kids of any age. This experience only solidified this dream for me.

Even after I lost my sight, I started going to college to pursue a degree in education. Classes were going fantastic. I got really good grades actually. I took my first education centered class and that changed things. The teacher was very nice and very good at what she did. She was very skeptical about a blind teacher in a sighted school. She told me that she thought I would be great at a blind school.

I admit this really discouraged me. I didn't want to teach at a blind school. We don't have a blind school in my town and I didn't have any desire to move closer to one. I let these opinions decide my path. I changed my degree to human development. Shortly after, I got pregnant with Peanut and stopped going to school all together.

Here's a little back story...

At the time I was going to college, I was still pretty new to the blindness world. I wasn't super confident in my abilities and skills as a blind person. Nikki then, had a lot of self-doubt and hatred towards blindness. This is why I let one person's opinion decide my future. Honestly though, I could have changed her opinion. She didn't doubt my ability because I couldn't do it. She doubted it because she hadn't ever been exposed to someone like me before. People are unsure of the unknown because it is just that... unknown. She was in no way a dream crusher or even a mean person. She just didn't understand.

Nikki now however...

I am a lot more confident. I know what I can do. I also know if there is something I can't do, I WILL learn how to do it and crush it. I know I have a lot to offer the sighted classroom.

Fast forward to right now...

I could start applying for jobs as a Para Educator this summer. I could get a job and be perfectly happy in that job. Another direction could be that I get a job and then go back to school to finish my AA degree. I admit though, I am concerned with joining the work force, going back to school, and being a mom all at the same time. I am not experienced in this area. Lastly, I could go back to school in the fall and focus on my degree. I could take the plunge and get my teaching certificate. I could be the teacher I always dreamed of? Do I dare?

I have recently been watching teachers on You Tube like Real Rap With The Reynolds and To Cool For Middle School. They are so inspiring. I also have had the pleasure of working with some pretty amazing teachers. The teacher in the first grade class that I mentioned earlier was also Peanut's Kindergarten teacher. I worked with her then and now. She is such an amazing teacher. Any child is lucky to walk through her door. Watching her classroom management and ability to bond with her students was remarkable. There are also teacher's at my older daughter's (Princess) school that inspire me as well.

In today's world a blind person can seamlessly work in a sighted classroom thanks to technology. Pretty much everything can be adapted with assisted technology. There are tricks that can help with classroom management as well.

So what do you think? Could I do it? I know I can, but I would love to hear what you think. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts. Would you have a problem with a blind teacher in charge of your little ones? Be honest. It's okay if you're skeptical. Having an open conversation about it is what helps bridge the gap between the blind and the sighted world. It breaks down barriers and shows that different is beautiful.

I feel like this post is long enough. This topic will come up again though because it is important to me. Thank you all for listening to the inner monologue that is bouncing around my head lately.

Side Note: For those of you who don't remember, I don't use my daughters names in my posts. I always call them Princess and Peanut. Princess is my oldest and Peanut is my youngest. I figured I should explain that for new readers and also to remind those who have been around a while.

Thanks for reading guys. Remember what I said earlier... Different is beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are encouraged and much appreciated!
* Be sure to click subscribe by Email to be notified of new comments.
* Before you go join this site to be updated when a new post is published.
* Check out the You Tube Channel and Facebook Fan page
* Don't forget to vote on the "Who Are You?" pole

Thanks and hope you come back soon!