Reno AHEAD Conference

From July 15-19, I attended the Association on Higher Education and Disability Conference in Reno, Nevada.  This was the biggest conference I have ever attended and the most days I have ever spent away from home at a conference.  It was held at the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno, so I spent the whole time in a casino which was kind of crazy.  Reno is a gambling city for sure.    The hotel was really nice overall although insanely dark inside.  It had a great pool area though with these big white beds to lie on, so I took advantage of that as much as possible and got some reading in.  The conference itself was pretty good and I was able to get some useful information to take back to work.  I also met some really cool people working in disability services.  On my last night there, a group of us took the bus into downtown Reno and had a night out on the town.  It was a blast!  I’m not sure I’ll ever be back to Reno, but I had a great time visiting!

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New Beginnings

As many of you know, I have been burnt out on teaching special education for quite a while.  I have been trying to find a position to settle into for some time, but never quite getting there.  It has been a long road and I have wondered if there was something else out there for me.  I think I may have finally found it.  I have been involved in a looong interview process with USC Upstate in their disability services department.  I interviewed for an intial job with the university and did not get it, but was then contacted about this job.  So, I began another string of interviews.  It finally came down to a 3 1/2 hr. interview involving a 20 minute powerpoint presentation.  I was so nervous!  But, the interview group was so friendly, and I felt very comfortable.  They offered me the job today and I am absolutely thrilled.  I will be working with students with disabilities at the university- deciding on accomodations that are appropriate for them, coordinating accomodations, working with peer coaches to support students, and helping to make students successful in graduating from college.  Being able to see students with disabilities who have made it to a 4 year university is going to be fantastic and I am thrilled about the goal of assisting them in completing college!  It is a new beginning and one I have been hoping for and praying about for a long time.  

On Friday, I went to pick up one of my students from class.  As we were walking down the hall, I asked him what he was going to do over Labor Day Weekend.  He said that he was going out of town to visit his aunt because she had just gotten out of the hospital.  I said, “Oh, has your aunt been sick?”  He responded with, “She had to go to the hospital because she had a Mid-East crisis.”  I said, “A Mid-East crisis?”  He said, “Yes, a Mid-East crisis, but she’s feeling better now.”  Oh my!

Starting Over

The school year has once again begun and I am again starting over.  I took a job as a special education resource teacher for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  I thought a great deal about leaving the educational system this year and finding something new, different, and exciting, but it was not meant to be.  Having a 2 year old and a baby girl on the way, I just realized that you can’t beat the hours that a teacher works or the time off.  I was offered a job that I turned down in which I would have 5 holidays the entire year and no vacation.  Turning that one down was a no brainer and I’m sure that most jobs are not that unreasonable.  However, it did get me to put some perspective on things.  Watching Graham grow and change is so incredibly exciting right now and I don’t want to miss out on that.   So, I am now considering other paths within the educational system such as being a guidance counselor.   I’m still not sure yet what I want to do with the rest of my life which is kind of frightening at times.  I’m keeping my eyes and my options open though and something is sure to come along.  Let me know if you think of anything!