— Vernon Howard
We are in Brazil! We visited family Sao Paulo and all traveled to the beach a few hours away. It has been nonstop family time where no one wants the visits to end. Staying up until early morning hours chatting and dancing together. In several conversations I have learned much about the education in Brazil, where there are very few 'public' schools. Here, majority of the population attends our U.S. definition of private school.
My husband's cousin is a teacher here in Sao Paulo, and married into a family who started this franchise of schools, focusing on multicultural aspects. It is interesting learning the business of schools here.
Our flight for Brazil leaves Monday morning and I have been stretched between school, preparation for my family to make an international trip and preparing to start teaching on a new campus the day after I return! Because I didn’t officially accept this position at a new site until this summer, I have been packing and unpacking my classroom in the last couple weeks, knowing that the bulk of my work is ahead of me with a new caseload. This also interrupts my 20% project as I will need to navigate a new school culture and climate before making any presentations. This is unfortunate as my former site could use this and would have been ideal for my first action plan. However, by design this project would benefit every campus, but not knowing the campus creates a bit of a challenge as I embark.
This 20% project appears to be taking over 20% of my life. However, it is fun to learn how to research about a topic of my choice! It’s even more fun to design how to fill a need with this research! I was intimidated to propose an idea that potentially doesn’t have a market, or doesn’t really work in the area of positive behavior support. There is so much research and a successful system in place through PBIS, that I was discouraged while planning. However, I had a big turn around when I found that this plan can fit in at any stage of PBIS, planning to full implementation. This makes me excited! Yes, I am kind of behavior geek.
To start with an update: my daughter recovered and was off crutches in time to send her to the next week of camp. However, we got a call within 24 hours that she got bug bites and they are growing. We picked her up and took her to urgent care for a 5th time and she will not be returning to camp, but she is recovering fine this time. Do they have Personal Learning Networks for parents of children with allergies to bug bites? Well, I have to admit I am new to participating in PLN’s in twitter chats, and this too is overwhelming, but fantastic. It will take me a while to speed up, I am definitely slow, but the community is welcoming and encouraging.
The theme of this blog is not going to be negative, but it may appear that way as my life would have it. I thought for sure when school ended and my trainings were over, that I would be able to focus on getting caught up on school work, and maybe even ahead? Well that has never been my style before so why would I start now? (With exceptions of IEPs, those I start early.) I really have been overwhelmed by these course so far, but not in a bad way, in an uncomfortable way. As my husband tells my son, “nothing great comes from being comfortable.” Was that said by someone famous? Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
That would fine except in the case of my daughter. I can not tolerate her discomfort. She had a severe reaction to bug bites on her foot (she is allergic to spider and mosquito bites). We have rushed her to emergency and urgent care four times this week. There is nothing they can do for her writhing pain. I’m sorry, I will not be able to give attentions to school topics while nursing my child, monitoring her for serious infection, carrying her to the bathroom and rubbing her back as she cries and cringes. This is an uncomfortable feeling I barely stand.
I finally took a breath today. I realized that I don’t know remember the last time I took a deep breath. Starting this Master’s program the two weeks before school ended had me in a state of regret. Maybe I am not cut out to do this? I thought. It doesn’t appear that anyone else in this program works in Special Ed, so is this program right for me? Do I really want to be the outsider of another professional community? I had to stop questioning myself and dive in despite the chaos that it adds to my already chaotic life. It might not be customary for Special Ed teachers to get their Master’s degree in Education Leadership through technology, but then I chose this “road less traveled” for a reason. Thank you Robert Frost.