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Mightybell: (Re) Discovering Passions

5 Jan

If I’m not working, I need to be writing.  I suppose that is my first resolution of the new year.  I need to write more.  Of course, doing more reading will always produce better writing, so I suppose reading more is my second resolution of the year, although I’m less excited about that than the first one.

A few months ago, I signed up for MightyBell through the Future of Education group that I belong to.  And then I promptly forgot about it, until I started getting the daily email alerts, encouraging me to go on to the next step, which is to say, take the first step.  The initial idea of signing up what to have something blogworthy, thus it might get me writing again.

I know that I am not the only person who is feeling pretty dissatisfied with education and the direction it has been going the past 10 years.  In fact I have never talked to anyone who has anything to do with it, who is totally satisfied with the direction of our educational system.  But the online groups, Future of Education in particular, has at least kept me in the loop when I have otherwise wanted to run away from the education business. It’s still an awkward relationship, but I’m at least willing to give it another go.

Mightybell is simply a string of tasks that is done whenever you feel like it, with a daily email reminding you of what you need to do next.  For instance, step one is signing up for Teacher 2.0.  That was fairly easy, although it took a day to get approved.  The next task was thinking about and listing your talents, as well as thinking about how to recognize student talent.  I sort of breezed through that with teaching being a talent, some writing, dealing with and using technology and applied behavior analysis.  These are all things that when I think about, people either have recognized me for, or they are asking me about.  I was one of the technology nerds as a student and as a teacher, who people ran to when they were having trouble with their computer.

The next task was about passions.  Things I love doing and things I love learning about.  I was pretty stumped and decided I had enough for the day, right there.  Now there are a lot of things I like learning about.  Technology being a big one, along with U.S. History and science.  I like learning about the latest trends in gardening and becoming more self-sufficient.  I like learning about elves and hobbits.  But I don’t know if these are all passions.  I’m pretty sure my family would all agree that I am passoniate about my laptop as I spend most of my time on it.

But a follow-up question asks: Do I spend enough time on my passions?  Lately, the answer has been “no”.  Or at least not enough on where my passions and talents align.  And that is what I’m working through at the moment.  Discovering where my passions and talents align.  It occurred to me the best things that have happened to me in the past month WERE because of my writing right here on this blog.  It’s one of the rare places where the talents and passions seem to intersect.  Of course, the real trick is to get this intersection to pay the bills!

I had a poll once (the only one I’ve ever run here!) where I ask if this blog helps or hurts my chances of getting hired.  It occurs to me that if it hurts, than I might possibly be ill-suited for whatever that job is.  I do love teaching, and it still is a passion of mine.  In many ways, this blog has provided me a platform to do some good teaching.  And some good learning!

Passions and talents don’t need to be the same, but it certainly does make things easier if you can get the two together.

Task completed!

The Future of Education?

1 Sep

Once again, I am back in my old room as a substitute and meeting a new teacher for my old students and a few new ones. It’s just like riding a bike…it just becomes a natural extension of you as you know what to do instinctively. And so it is with this population of students. I kind of amazed myself with how quickly I was able to bond with the new students. A bit more about my status later.

But first I want to talk about a podcast that aired recently on the Future of Education website. You can listen to it too!

I bought Bob Compton’s 2 Million Minutes documentary, and he made a lot of astute observations about the education systems in India, China and the U.S. In his latest documentary, he teams up with Dr. Tony Wagner (The Global Achievement Gap) whose book I have read and even gave a few copies away to administrators. The Finland Phenomenon explores the education system in Finland, often regarded as the top system in the world. Compton and Wagner wanted to find out more about the Finnish educational system and why it is as good as it is.

I have not yet seen this film but do plan on seeing it and reviewing it. But I wanted to talk a bit about some things Compton said in this podcast. He talked a bit about barriers to true and genuine innovation and I was struck by his description of how large organizations try to kill or squash innovation. Basically, if there is someone who starts to excel, it makes the rest of the organization look bad or at the very least exposes mediocrity. And since no one wants to feel bad, the out-lier is attacked and either put in their place or ostracized almost out of existence. This is just the organization striving for self-preservation. People don’t like change and innovation has a habit of forcing change upon people. This is also discussed in the book about educational disruption in education that I read a couple years ago about the time I was also reading Tony Wagner’s book.

So…could that be the answer to the question I am too embarrassed to ask or talk much about? During my tenure teaching individuals with severe disabilities I was innovating and shaping things way beyond what anyone else was doing at the time.

  • I had an active Moodle site that was a repository of knowledge to help other teachers who teach students with severe disabilities.
  • I had an active blog, informing other teachers, future teachers, policiy makers and parents the effects of certain government policies on the classroom
  • I recorded and posted scores of videos on Teachertube, sharing best practices in how to use different types of technology in the classroom
  • I experimented with many different types of technology including mp4 players, open source programs and various switches and AAC devices
  • I encouraged the faculty to use the collaboration software that the county had purchased in order to collaborate and share their ideas and thoughts rather than burdening the email system.
  • We experimented with research-based interventions such as electronic social stories and video modeling to teach new behaviors.
  • I tried to get school leaders to use technology to reach or teach the staff asynchronously in order to afford greater flexibility with staff development and to leverage the technology to build capacity for more staff development options and offerings.
  • Participated and attended staff development activities such as Future of Education webinars, and subscribed to various educational podcasts, even experimenting with my own podcasting site.

These efforts were not always greeted with open arms. Sometimes there was active opposition to some of the ideas but most of the time efforts to reform practice was met with a polite smile and then people continued to do what they were used to doing. I was clearly out in front of most of my colleagues when it came to technology and ideas for building capacity especially in regards to staff development using multimedia and social collaboration.

And these activities are STILL regarded with a great deal of resistance and suspicion from many people who make decisions about education. Being an innovator is often very politically risky and I have to admit to being often very naive when it comes to politics. My thought is that the needs of the students should be greater than the need for any particular political vendetta. We might disagree about certain policies, but in the end we are charged with the trust of caring and educating all students.

I’m a bit lost as to what to do about whatever it is that keeps me from getting back into the classroom full-time and need to look at all other options. Surely some of these skills must translate into something else that is useful to someone.

OH…by the way, look at some of the other blogs who made the list!  What an honor and a treat to be listed alongside so many other excellent special education bloggers.

After Almost a Year…

12 Aug

I am back!  Sort of…

For the past year, I wondered if this blog was one of those things that was keeping me from finding a permanent position.  Someone might be offended by what I write here or perhaps it is just a little bit too candid for many.  But as I was reading my post about discrimination, I realized that squelching my voice is not the answer.  I gave it over 6 months of this blog being private and have nothing to show for it.  Perhaps I am just that bad at interviewing.  Or perhaps there is some other reason.  I have no idea what the reason is that I am not teaching right now, and no one has told me.


Last Summer, I interviewed for several positions that seemed perfect, hand-in-glove, to my experience and background.  And I saw at least one of those positions remain unfilled weeks after I had applied.  And this summer I see a repeat of that exact same thing.  There is the expression “better than nothing.”  And I am apparently not even THAT good!  When a school interviews me and then decides to leave the spot vacant rather than hire me, I have a serious, serious problem.  It would be one thing if I was uncertified or unqualified or had no experience or even some devastatingly bad experience.  But none of those things is apparent.  I seem to have a huge blind spot.

SO…waiting for substitute jobs and soul searching is where I am at the moment.  But I think I will write a bit about substituting, and other things as they come up because at least blogging about education makes me feel more productive!  If being an advocate for people with disabilities and speaking out against prejudice makes me undesirable as a special education teacher, than our public school system is truly irredeemable.


1 Nov

I’m still in the market, but have been actually fortunate to have been able to be working steadily. I already have some GAA tasks underway, with a basic plan that will allow them to be carried through to completion IF the teacher who returned this week can follow through. Basically there are VERY few teachers left in the building who know how to do a complete GAA. And at the high school level, the GAA stinky dog acquired more fleas because now there are two more standards to address!


But in the meantime I am transitioning to regular substitute work until I take another longterm position in a couple of weeks. And after only a couple of days, it has been a really interesting experience being among a more “general” population. Regular high school freshmen are really interesting people. Very energetic and squirrelly and all over the place. I found myself spending the day teaching a freshman math class on Tuesday.


Most special educators have issues with math, I have found. And I am no except as I struggled with math all the way through high school. In college, I took the easiest math course offered and it WAS such a low level course, I don’t think they even offer anything like it anymore. So when I took chemistry courses, I ended up having to go back and teach myself a lot of the math I should have already learned.


All this is to say that I found myself teaching some geometry to these 9th graders. I found that aside from the high energy of the classes and some bits of unruliness, I was able to do it surprisingly well. I even heard a few murmurs from the kids “This guy is teaching more than our regular teacher!” It’s hard to know whether to feel glad or sad about that. I don’t know the regular teacher at all, but did have to deviate from the lesson order a bit. Plus the video he had was just TOO packed with information and I could see eyes glaze over after 10 minutes. So after the first period, I broke things down a bit more and did a LOT more teaching than the typical babysitting most subs are used to. But not knowing the students on a more personal level was a definite obstacle in trying interact with them. One can not emphasize rapport between students and teachers enough when it comes to teaching and learning and it is something a substitute has a hard time with, especially just starting out.


The next day, I was co-teaching an environmental science class teaching juniors and seniors. What an amazing difference in maturity! And I was able to teach most of the day with an experienced teacher who obviously had a great relationship with his students as well the the other sp. ed. teacher I was substituting for. These students were so much more self-directed!


The next two days, I spent teaching U.S. History. Two sections were AP classes and the last class was a large regular class. I loved working with all of these students and they all needed a lot of work. Again, there was this sentiment expressed about wanting me or someone like me to be their regular teacher. And this was even expressed more mildly even from the few adults who happened to come in and see what I was doing.  So I feel pretty good about my skills as a teacher.  How to get potential employers to see it and buy into it is another thing entirely.


All-in-all it has been a bit of an eye-opening experience getting out amongst a “regular” population. After teaching a decade in an environment that is so utterly alien to the rest of the school, I was wondering if I could even handle life on the outside. And I am finding that while it consumes more energy, I’m able to make a good transition to a less restrictive environment with a minimum of difficulty. And I find myself enjoying the students a little bit more in that I can interact with them on a much higher level compared to what I’ve been able to do the past 10 years.


Divine Humor

22 Aug

There is a very real reason why this blog has the name that it does.  There is the life that we think we choose for ourselves and then there is the life that seems to choose us.  And there are things that happen that we could not possibly make up.  And this is one of those.

A week ago, I got a call from one of my paras….one of my former paras…saying that they could not find the switches and AAC devices.  This is a very big deal since ALL of those students are nonverbal and all acces to any curriculum relies on switches and devices and such.  I remembered packing them up but not exactly where I had put them. They said they would keep looking.  2 days ago, they called again, saying they still had no idea where they were. I made trek in and sure enough, the devices were in the storage closet where I left them.  The kids were all there and some sort of seemed to recognize me.  It was a bit weird being there everyone was okay, and I began the process of trying to help a rather shell shocked and overwhelmed teacher what there was there for the each student.  This was not a new teacher, she is a veteran, but very new to this particular population.  No one walks in knowing just what to do.  And then the new speech teacher, who did look young and new, walked in and I began talking to her a bit about the kids and how speech had worked in the past.  All in all, it was me simply slipping into the old familiar role.  But after an hour, I was able to walk out and go home to wrestle with ideas on how to market myself better.

The next afternoon, the call came.  I finally got an offer for a job.  Not just an offer, but it would be fair to say that I was cajoled and woo’ed.  I don’t know if “beg” would be too strong of a word or not.  But I was asked to come in.  Real soon.  And so, tomorrow is my first day of work in my new job!  Actually it is only a temporary longterm sub job.   But it is a job, right?  Got my foot in the door!

Thing is….this is the same exact door I walked out of just 3 months ago.  Yes, meet the new boss!  Same as the old boss!  I have my old job back.  It would not be an understatement for me to say I have VERY mixed feelings about this.  I left to find something else.  And I am still searching.  Suffice it to say that God obviously thinks I have something yet to discover in this particular spot, with these particular students.  It looks like we will be together again, for good or ill.  So let’s see what we can do.

The odds are the same as last year…in fact the job is even more daunting if that is even even possible, than when I left.  So, I’m rolling up the sleeves and working on getting psyched to go in show ’em how it’s done.


Teaching Moments and Life Lessons

15 Aug

Every parent or teacher has them; those moments where a lesson chooses its own time and you simply have to capitalize on the opportunity presented to take advantage of it.

Being not employed has presented a lot of those moments for my kids that would not be there otherwise.  We’ve actually had some pretty remarkable conversations about budgeting, money and what is involved in getting a job, keeping a job and the types of job a person can do and the amount of money a person makes at a given job.

My oldest is in the 5th grade, and each passing year brings a bit more anxiety about his future.  He is remarkably intelligent in so many ways, and yet has not learned to tie his own shoes or use the mustard without drowning his hot dog.  It is a mixture of fear and amazement.  I suppose this is true of all parents, but for those of us with someone who is exceptional it is even more so.  We wonder if our kids will be able to live independently without setting fire to their apartment, or if they will be able to hold a job or safely drive a car.

So today, my oldest insisted that I needed to get a job tomorrow in order that we might be able to travel again and put an end to all this talk about not having enough money to do things.  He opened his almanac and was looking up the richest men in the world, and had a host of suggestions for me, including working for Microsoft and Walmart.

This lead to a discussion of getting skills necessary to get a job.  When he suggested working for Ford Motor Company, I explained about how I might need to be trained as a mechanic to be able to afford to take care of him and the rest of the family.  His younger brother chimed in at the prospect of working for various fast food places.  While these are certainly prospects, I explained that they might not be the best prospects and explained how wages were linked to qualifications and skills which were linked to doing well in school.

I can tell that both boys are in deep thought about the job issue and have concerns about it.  Last week, my youngest postulated about what it might be like living under a bridge somewhere!  I explained that because we had been wise with our money when we had plenty, we would be okay for awhile while looking for a job, which led to a discussion about saving money and why we do it and how to do it.

And one reason why we are okay (not great, but okay) at the moment was because of the lessons my own parents taught me about money and debt while growing up on the farm.  We never had a lot, and my parents made it clear that it took a lot of work to make money and not to take it for granted.  I remember when being about the age of my own kids we did not always have the latest toys, clothes or things.  Most people would have regarded us as poor, but I never thought we were.  I knew other people who were more poor and a few who were pretty well off.  Where I grew up, school teachers were regarded as among the well-off!

So as a family we’re learning a few things and hopefully the best lessons will hang around for awhile while we move on.  And hopefully we’ll move on before things get so bad we’re contemplating a move under the bridge!

School is in Session!

11 Aug

The purpose of this blog is mainly to be informational with occasional sprinkles of inspirational.  I just needed to say that up front in order to help stay focused.  I relate my own story in hopes that others can learn and benefit from my triumphs and occasional…or many mistakes.

Last Friday, my two boys got on their buses and went off to school.  This is not new to them, because they have both been through the first day of school drill before.  What was totally different this year, was the fact that when they got home from their first day of school, Daddy was there.  It was then that it really sort of hit all of us that we are on a different road.  They are used to getting off the bus and not having their dad home for a few more hours.  It has been very surreal, as the boys have NEVER known a time when I was not working.  They are used to me being around during breaks, of course.  But the climate is definitely different, now.

So while I continue to search and interview, I am also taking stock of things and trying to think of some other alternative plan or strategy.  If my name is plugged into your favorite search engine, this blog comes up pretty readily.  I sometimes wonder if this might be what is scaring some administrators off.  I ran into this a bit in my old school.  The first administration seemed to be largely supportive, but when things turned over, the new administrators were decidedly more nervous.  This reached a fever pitch here in Georgia in 2009 when a teacher was asked to resign over a Facebook entry and then she later sued the district.  Basically the advice our teacher advocacy group was giving teachers was, “Don’t do it.”  That meant stay well away from all social media as much as possible.  But now, most districts and the Georgia Department of Education all have their own Facebook sites.  But that does not mean that administrators are going to simply overlook a person’s space that is giving information that is also out of their control.  And this blog has had its share of political content, although I have gone to great lengths to protect former and potential employers by never posting any names and not mentioning specifics but speaking more in generalities based on a body of experiences.

Thing is, I don’t know.  It could be the blog.  It could be something I have no idea about.  It is as if something is out there that says “If we hire this guy, we are in a world of trouble!  Better to hire someone else or even leave the position vacant!”

SO…all that is to say that I am still unemployed.  I have another check or two, and then we are into an emergency fund I built up the last few years.  However, one medical bill can pretty much sink any sized savings or nest egg.  So there is a considerable amount of soul searching involved here regarding what I want to do or what I should do.  I suspect that my old position will be open again in a few months, just based on what I know about the position/person combination.

SO I am a bit anxious about what life is going to choose for me next.  Things can still happen, of course…good things!  I’m just trying to think about ways that I might be able to tilt them in a more favorable direction as well as try not to get too discouraged.

On a positive note, after the year I had last year, I really have enjoyed the extended summer break.  Seriously, I did not really miss the preplanning and all the fuss my former/future colleagues have been going through getting things ready.  Usually after about 3 weeks of summer laziness, I get antsy and am ready to get back into it.  It is only now that I am feeling that tug to get back.  I had an interview today, in fact, and watching the kids in the halls and going in the office and the hustle and bustle, I could feel myself being mentally pulled back.  I felt it…I wanted back in.  As for this particular interview, they heard exactly what they needed to hear, for good or ill, as it seemed much shorter than my previous ones.  Since the long interview isn’t as positive as I once thought it was, maybe the short one is a better sign.

So this blog: Helpful or a hindrance?  Poll at the bottom in the side bar!


18 Jul

Ten years ago, when I last set out on the job hunting trail, I went to exactly two interviews in the same county.  I had driven up the night before and stayed in a hotel.  The first interview was with an assistant principal and we seemed to get along almost instantly.  We had a real easy and leisurely conversation about the position and just about teaching and education in general.  I don’t remember how long it lasted, but it was a good while, and I left feeling pretty good.

The second interview was at the other high school and I was not sure which it was for, but I found out when I got there.  It was for an EBD self-contained, and I had been there and done that.  I basically said I was not interested in an position that put me off in a back corner, isolated from everyone else.  That interview lasted about 4 minutes.  I walked out of there, feeling like I may have dodged a bullet.

The assistant principal who called and offered me the job two days later would eventually become my principal.  And I was not so isolated and was in fact all over the community as it was truly a community-based program.  But after about 7 years, it began to change radically and under the yoke of NCLB, the community-based became less and less.  And by the end of 10 years, I found myself in a corner, isolated from everyone else.

This summer, the shortest interview ever was the one that did not happen.  I am on summer schedule which means stay up late and wake up late.  But one morning the telephone rang at 9 a.m.  I rolled out, and answered the phone.

“Hello, I’m Ms.Principal from SuchAndSuch Middle School!  I was wondering if you were still interested in the postiion you had applied for with us?”

“Sure, I’m still interviewing, yes…”

I’m a bit groggy but now waking quickly and trying to remember about this particular position out of the many I had looked at and applied for.  On the TeachGeorgia site, where schools post their openings, sometimes the positions themselves are a bit vague.  Sometimes they just say “Grades 6-8 combination”  or “Grades 6-8 special education.”  Neither of these are terribly descriptive, but I hit “apply” anyway, despite the vagueness and the fact that this county and school was a bit far.  Now, as I wake up, I hear the principal, in a more testy voice, “Well, you don’t seem too excited…”

I pause at this….this seemed like an odd comment, but then I am scrambling for a pen and paper to write down contact information.  “Oh, yes!  I’m still interested, and looking forward to talking with you about…ummm…which position is this for, exactly?”

At this point, the lady at the other end got very exasperated, “I’ll tell you what…you do a little more research on me and who I am and call me back!”  >Click<

Wow.  I had a good mind to call the county back to make sure this was not some sort of prank or joke.  But this seems a bullet dodged perhaps.  It also woke me up to the fact that the job market is VERY different than it was 10 years years ago.  Special education teachers are still sought after.  Especially those with my certificate.  In fact, my home county has 3 openings for HS SID/PID….including the one I just left.  All of the high schools are turning their programs at the same time which is a bit scary from a parent’s perspective.

The interviews I have had this summer have all been really good.  I would call them great, in fact.  Never less than an hour and we spend time talking about what is important to us as educators or they as a school system.  Each and every time, I walk out feeling good, if not great.  I feel like I was made for this position, whichever position it might happen to be.  And these are some very divergent positions across a wide spectrum of settings and subjects.  But I come from a wide background so have experiences far and wide.  I can do a lot of different things and do them well.

My first rejection, as it turns out, looks to be rather exceptional, as other interviewers have not gotten back to me or contacted me.  Of course when they don’t answer your phone calls or emails, that is not necessarily a good sign, either!  But the waiting and not knowing is just as bad as a rejection in a way.  Especially when we had spent the sort of time we had in an extended interview process.  It really puts some doubt in my mind and makes me wonder what is going on in the background.  Were my interviews the sort that was just done as part of a process since they already had someone in mind they wanted to hire?

I have encountered this once before several years ago, when I interviewed for a behavior specialist position in our county.  I was glad they hired the person they did, as she was extremely qualified.  But if I had known she had applied, I would not have bothered because the the job description was written for her!  I applied just because I was afraid some people who were much less qualified  had applied and the thought of one of them getting into such an important position scared me!

With 2 weeks left of summer before most counties start their preplanning, I’m quite nervous.  I did have another wonderful interview last week and am hoping this one is the one.  I have loved all of these other situations and systems that I have visited.  They are all newer facilities than the 35 year old building I have been in for the last 10 years.  They seem to have a special caring for the students I would be serving.  They seem to be supportive of the kids and each other.  They are generally smaller, more intimate cultures and communities.  And it is the supportive community that I seek more than anything, rather than just the room in the back corner of the building.  Wonderful things happened in that back room in the corner, no doubt.  But I’ ready for wonderful things to happen in a place not quite so isolated.

Check out The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism!

9 Jul

I was hoping that the next post I was writing would be all about the new job I found and the excitement involved in looking forward to a fresh new start in a fresh new place.

I hasn’t happened….yet.  I have had several good interviews and I walked out of each of them feeling like I had hit it out of the ballpark.  These were positions that screamed my name as far as the skills required and my background, experience and desires.  I was wondering “How am I going to choose between them…they all seem great!”  But then days turn into weeks and no follow-up call comes.  One did send an email stating they had hired someone else, and that is totally fine.  It is possible there are some other highly qualified, experienced people who are also looking might be better suited to some spots.  But Some of these seemed SO tailor-made for me.  I’m scratching my head, but continuing to pursue what pening there are and trying not to get discouraged.

You can only imagine Jane’s anxiety.  And my two boys also know that this summer is different because we are not taking any real long trips or vacations and holding on to the money a little tighter.  They know it is all about Daddy’s job.  At least we still have medical insurance for a couple more months.

But I DO have some good news to share!  Liz Ditz has been a sort of guardian angel of my blog since its earliest days, linking, commenting and promoting articles she thought were good, and driving a lot of readers my way.  She is just a dynamo of reading and writing and promoting the cause of disability advocacy.  Every blogger should be so lucky to have a Liz in their readership!

A few weeks ago, she emailed and asked about an article I had written from my IEP series and wondered if I would be interested in participating in a project of contributing it toward a book she and some other folks are working on.  And so after doing some editing and updating, we finished it and you can read the revised version of my article on IEP goals at the Thinking Persons Guide To Autism which will eventually become a print book!  How cool is that?

I invite you to seriously check the blog out, because it has many awesome articles written be some very accomplished bloggers.  I totally wish I had a resource like this in the earliest days of son’s diagnosis.  It is a common sense and scientific look at autism issues without the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that I see in so much autism literature and articles by parents and professionals in the field while being sensitive to the emotional overhang associated with autism.  There are some great articles there that are worth a look as a professional as well as a parent.  This blog is decidedly parent-centric written by and for parents but is a great resource for teachers and othe professionals too.

The long, hard road

3 Jun

This year was stressful for everyone, and I am SO glad school is out and over.  However, the long, hot, hard road of the job search starts in earnest.

And my first real rejection.  Ouch.

It’s not so much a rejection as an acceptance of someone else.  In my interviews, I’ve always felt pretty comfortable.  I have a good track record, I have good things that have happened, I have stuck it out and put in a lot of the hard work.  But there are people who are or have been in it longer or have more to show for it.    I guess I should feel good that I made the interview round of the process.  There are a lot of applications I have out there where I did not make it at all.  I try to be positive but there is a tightness in my gut that wonders just how long and hot this summer is going to be.    I really thought I had this one in the bag as I thought I had answered everything to perfection and beyond.  But someone better came in.  Or at least I hope that is the case.

So I put out a few more applications to places for things that were not necessarily my first choice.  Sometimes taking a second choice is okay, and I have certainly done that before.    But I don’t know what to do if that avenue is closed off.  I like teaching and can’t think of anything I would rather do.  But maybe I do need to think about other things I could do and widen the search.  While special educators are still in need, for the first time in 10 years there might be more people looking than positions that need to be filled.

Are there really suddenly more highly qualified people out there?  I don’t know, but it is going to be a wilder ride than I might have thought.