Today was one of the first times since March 2020 that I was able to work directly with a student. I’ve joined countless Zooms to observe students. I’m somehow manages to access from afar. But working directly with a student, covered head-to-toe in PPE of course, hasn’t happened in over a year.
I transitioned into my new position is the Assistive Technology Specialist in the fall of 2019. Three years before that I had moved out of a traditional classroom position and into the role of technology teacher. Of course, I was working with students daily, but it was very different than it was when I had my own classroom. As the AT Specialist, I have much less regular interaction with students.
When the pandemic hit and we all shifted to working through a computer, my job duties shifted as well. At least temporarily. I began working to support teachers and staff rather than students. This year has been a mixed bag. But very little has been done face-to-face even though many of our programs have begun hybrid instruction.
But today it happened. I was able to sit beside a student and complete an assessment. I was able to work with her and demonstrate to her team some strategies to draw out when we know is inside. And wen I got back to my office, I brain dumped it all so that I could start writing the report.
I forgot how much it recharges me to work with students. It’s not that I don’t enjoy supporting staff, but I am a teacher at heart. I cannot look at a classroom without seeing the similarities and differences between it and my own 20+ classrooms over the last two decades. I draw on my experiences as a teacher and automatically begin to think about how I would interact the kiddo(s) in front of me.
And today was great. The student’s team was excited to how the child responded to me. I can’t wait to do it all again. I have LOTS of evaluations coming up and I’m sure I’ll be side-by-side with some more kids before the end of the school year. I don’t love the paperwork. But I do love working with the kids.
I am writing for the 2021 Slice of Life Challenge.