By Barbara Baditoi
Dr. Barbara E. Baditoi has just retired from 29 years in public education. Her experience includes ED/LD classroom teacher, co-teacher, department chairperson, behavior and autism resource specialist, assistant principal, and division-level administrator of special education. She is an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Marymount University and is currently writing two books for CEC.
Have you been shopping lately? Bathing suits are on the clearance rack, it is hard to find beach towels, and aisles are filled with back-to-school items. Can you believe school will start at the end of this month for millions of teachers across the country?
Perhaps you are anticipating your first or second year of teaching special education students, or you are still waiting for that magical phone call offering you the position of your dreams. Either way, there are only a few days left before the new year begins.
One of the benefits of the educational world is that public schools follow a September-to-September timeline, giving teachers an opportunity during the summer to refresh and renew themselves. Not all professions run their timelines the way we do, but it is an advantage that keeps us committed to our profession.
In today’s economy, the field of special education continues to require teachers for this fall, and some of you may be currently applying for positions. This is the time to take a deep breath, look back at the past year, celebrate your achievements, and prepare to move forward. In these last few waning summer days, enjoy the slower pace and cherish the opportunities for continued replenishment of your spirit. When school begins, your time will be filled and you will remember these minutes as a cool drink of water.
Congratulations to those of you who are entering the field of special education, whether you are a first-, second- or third-year teacher, or you are still searching for a position. Special education is a rewarding field, and I applaud teachers who are dedicated to the field, especially in the era of accountability, RTI and the role of the special educator, ARRA, “Race to the Top,” new legal requirements including Supreme Court decisions, the current focus on seclusion and restraint, the necessity of being even more HQ, and the innumerable other issues that make special education so exciting.
Over the next month, as school begins, I will be blogging about getting ready for the school year and touching on topics for the opening days of school. Welcome back to school!