In the first two years I worked here, I got to experience all classes and students. From the Extremely Handicapped and Autistic children to the Students with Top Honors and those slightly out of tuned ones that land in ISD on a regular basis. I love them all. This past year I spent all my days in the extremely handicapped classroom. This didn't stop me from loving all my students. Every chance I got, I was out mingling with my other kids. I know that the students think I am pretty crazy, but they are good natured about it. And while they still have trouble showing respect 100 percent of time, I think they do respect me.
My year in the classroom full of God's "Angels" ended on May 26. And I have learned so much. We forget sometimes when we care for them, that they are people. And they may not see, or hear as well and we really are not so sure what they understand. One of our girls is blind and so tiny and bent. It is easy just to walk up to her and start wiping her face or sticking the spoon in her mouth. I don't know when I realized that speaking to her before I touched her was so important. And touching her and kissing her forehead. Another of our angels, I learned to hold her hands when I would talk to her. Instead of talking at her or around her, when you hold her hand, she seems to listen. One young man walks around in another world most of the time bouncing his ball. And we would go for walks and you wonder how far away he really is when the look he has in his eyes looks to be about a 1,000 miles. And one day as I was caring for him, he leaned in for a very sloppy kiss. I could write and write about my kids, but then I would end up giving you names and that isn't allowed. I just know that these kids stole my heart. They accepted me into their world and gave me so much joy. On that last day of school, I realized that for two of my angels, I would not see them again. They have moved on. I hope that their new school and teachers will know them and see into their hearts and souls. Give them the respect and dignity they deserve. Maybe I will have to visit at WMHS and check in.
In August when I return to my journey, I will be joined at CJH by my grandson Billy Michael. He has some learning disabilities with a main diagnosis of Autism. I can't wait to be there with him. To help him feel comfortable and learn to love the school as much as I do. I will be returning to the general population so to speak, seeing all the students in different classes. Getting to know the 7th and 8th graders this year. With little contact or knowledge of the new 8th graders, it will feel like that first day 3 years ago.
I also will be thinking about that day 1969 when I first walked into CJH as a student in the 7th grade. This school is always like coming home for me. I feel like Peter Pan in the land where I never have to grow up.
I can't finish this blog with out thanking a few of the people I have been blessed to know. First of all, the administration. Mr.Peak you have gone out of your way to accommodate me this year. You could have filled my position at any time. I am sure it would have made it easier. Your understanding in all of this has been another testimony of the person you are. The students at CJH are so fortunate to have you in their lives.
Ms. Terry Sanders,You have been such a blessing to me. Your effort to give me the best and most positive experience every day has not gone unnoticed. You have been so good to me and given me so many opportunities. I can't thank you enough. Really, you should get a raise. The teachers at CJH are so welcoming to me. I am sure I am not the exception. You treat your subs with respect. Like I have said before. You make make me feel golden. I have heard some horror stories from other schools. Also, the librarians, are also available and help me anytime I need them. Thank you CJH. Even our janitors go out of their way to make us welcome.
Our classroom consists of one lead teacher and 4 paras. In January we welcomed a new lead teacher into our classroom. Cindy worked very hard and long to get her degrees and pass her test to work in a classroom like ours.Thank you, Cindy for allowing me to continue to work the year out. Our kids need consistency with as little change as possible. We had been going through many changes with the leaving of our head teacher and other para. Then my 3 co workers. We had a great team and everyone was considerate of each other and all of you just dug in and we got things done. You always treated me as an equal even though...I was "Just a Sub".Miss Becca, Miss Coach Oliver and Miss Holly. I love you guys and will miss working with you. We became great friends I think.
I know I am leaving out more thank yous and praises, but I have to end this soon. If I wrote around the clock about the Administration, Faculty, Support employees, and the students at CJH, I could not praise them enough, or let them know how much I love them. So I am finally shutting up and leave you with this; Goodbye for now. Enjoy your summer, I will see you at the beginning of the 2011/20012 school year if you let me.