It’s Not Easy Being Green

Elizabeth Catlett
Elizabeth Catlett

I started out my teaching career trial by fire. There was a shortage of special education teachers and I happened to have experience in that area and a brand new K-9 teaching credential with no positions open. So, I ended up being hired as a “misassigned teacher” at a rural elementary school. I faked it until I made it.

I did quite a few things that year that I would do over but I guess that’s how you learn. What I would take back the most is the matter of fact, and somewhat clinical way, I spoke to parents of children with special needs. As a parent now, and teacher with a decent amount of experience, I handle parent-teacher conferences in a much more loving and careful way. Now I can request a conference on just about any topic and get through it with relative ease and a genuine show of concern. For me that came with parenting failures, disappointments, and simply more practice discussing delicate issues. Thank goodness I had other colleagues around me during my learning curve to make up for my words that fell short.

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