It goes without saying, special education is unlike a lot of jobs. There’s a lot of moving pieces and not all the moving pieces move at the same rates in the same direction.
And the student you just saw happy a week ago is now a little less motivated to do anything. And while you’re trying to get him motivated and interested in school for the time being, in the back of your mind, you’re reviewing what you know about the student.
The list of reasons to worry isn’t very long:
- What family member was just released from jail?
- Do they have electricity and running water at home right now?
- Do they have food at home?
- Are they safe at home?
- Are they able to get home safely?
- Did the parents pay this month’s rent?
And you know the student may not be forthcoming with you, even when you have everything you need to know.
You know that list of students, and it doesn’t change. It amplifies when a sibling comes to campus and you know there is that additional worry that shows up.
But what do you do?
- You let administration know
- You keep honest tabs on the student
- You ask direct questions to the student with another trusted adult present
- You fill out the mandated reporter forms and file them with the correct person(s)
And after, you have weeks of not knowing if the message was understood. You worry a lot until then. Some folks pray, and that may be enough. Other folks get therapy and learn to understand boundaries and their relationships with others. And finally, one of the best suggestions Renay ever received was to honestly write down every worry every night. Very simply acknowledge all the things that are out of control that you wish you could make better. Whether this is a formal journal, or little slips of paper you leave in a box for the world to find later.
Not everything is simple in life. And leaving can be hard at the end of the day with these worries that follow you around. Sometimes you don’t know what will await you when you return. And you’re just going to have to believe, even the most pessimistic among us, that things can get better, and get better especially for the students. But ultimately, having a strategy to let all these parts go can help with the worries at the end of the day.
ParaEducate will be off next week for spring break. But fear not! We will return on April 6. Enjoy the week off whenever spring break comes you way.
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.