Adventures in Special Education

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by SteveM19, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. SteveM19

    SteveM19 New Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Cleveland OH
    Last year, my first in education, I taught at a self contained school in Ashtabula OH for kids with emotional disabilities. That means they were the kids who didn't play well with others, in their own school. To say it was stressful would be an understatement.

    For those of you who have never been, a polite way of describing Ashtabula OH is that it has some challenges -- it will never be described as easy on the eyes, and the economy has been hard up for decades. I got kids from Ashtabula city and Ashtabula county, from what is geographically the largest county in Ohio -- outside of Ashtabula city, it is mostly rural areas, with a few small towns mixed in for good measure. I think most of the kids who have a good future in front of them leave the area, sad to say. One kid was supposed to be bussed all the way across the county to come to our school last year, but for a variety of reasons that didn't happen. The rest were from poorer areas in Ashtabula, the city.

    Against this backdrop, I took another position in the Youth Detention Center in Ashtabula -- kiddie jail. I went for the first time and saw approximately 10 kids in orange jumpsuits and slippers. I've been in jails before as a military policeman, but not for over 10 years, and they didn't get any less austere in appearance.

    The funny thing is, for what I do, as a teacher and a role model, it is a great environment -- my first impression for what I do professionally was very positive. I set up my room today, and met the outgoing teacher, who is taking a job at a local high school -- something about not wanting to work in a jail as a teacher forever. I met some of the prison staff, and I have a cagekicker in the room with me at all times, by edict of the state of Ohio -- I am not allowed to be left alone with the inmates.

    Suddenly I am in an environment with a lot of structure, and I can concentrate on teaching. And being a role model. With kids who want to listen. Or at least don't want to get sent back to their room, or to confinement, or screw up enough to have to sleep on the concrete rack in their cell because they lost the use of their mattress. Ouch! No thanks to the last one. Whatever. Any motivation that they bring to the table is better than no motivation at all.

    My first official day is the 23rd. Things are looking up :D
  2. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    You.. are a Prince among men!
  3. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay
    Right on, Steve, I echo Petty's comment. Great job.
  4. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Well done Steve. With the crap that I have dealt with the last few months it is encouraging to remember that there are people like you who just want to do the right thing. My sister was in ED education, high burn out rate. Do your best, be patient, and dont take it home. Hats off to you again.
  5. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    Your making the world a better place Steve, mucho respecto.
  6. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    well done, sir
  7. SteveM19

    SteveM19 New Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Cleveland OH
    Thanks to all for the kind words -- hi ho, hi ho, it's off to jail I go!
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