Day 100: Do What You Can

I’ve posted for 100 days in a row now. That’s quite a little accomplishment. I should be proud.

Instead, my body aches. My arms feel like lead weights and are covered with bites and scratches. My knee should probably be iced down. I earned my paycheck today, ya’ll.

Working with special needs kids can be very rewarding. Any amount of growth can be celebrated daily and it makes you feel amazing to see them so proud of themselves. Some days, however, will put you through the ringer.

Fair warning for any aspiring special education teachers out there: You are going to get hurt. There will be kids that will fight you tooth and nail instead of doing their jobs. There will be kids that will destroy your classroom. There will be kids that seem to regress seemingly by the minute. You will be frustrated. Maybe for days or weeks. Maybe all school year. Heaven forbid if you decide to work summer school.

I don’t say all this to scare anyone off. I say this because you need to know how you are going to handle it. You need to have a plan for taking care of yourself after you put the kids on the bus. They’ll be back tomorrow and not renewing your energy makes you run out faster. And what happens if you keep running an engine with no fluid? Explosion and burnout city.

Don’t let your motor burn out. You can’t just run down to the junkyard and pick up a new one. Take care of you when you can and be ready for the next battle. Those little dears will be relying on you more than you realize.