After two weeks of training I was offered a position as an early elementary autistic teacher. Then last week I had in service for the whole week and today (and tomorrow). Then we start school on Wednesday. Here are some before pictures of my classroom.
As you can see it is a total mess! This was last Monday. There is way too much furniture.
This is a picture of the door from the opposite corner. It is a square!
And finally a picture of my desk! And all 4 student computers… for the 3 students on my roster! Way too many but they won’t take them away!
I am absolutely ecstatic about this coming school year! Stressed but so excited! I will try to post almost finished pictures tomorrow!
To do: Plan for the first three days of school!
I can’t take credit for this poem/story myself but it was shared during a recent training I had. Emily Perl Kingsley (the author) has been a writer for Sesame Street since 1970 and has a child with a disability. From the title of this poem you can guess where the title of the blog came from.
Welcome to Holland
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!” you say. “What do you mean, Holland?” I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
Written by Emily Perl Kingsley