So tomorrow is my last day of work! I have been working for a year at a public school, as an aide for the special education class. I did kind of poorly there. It is a very traditional, strict school, where most of the teachers expect all of the kids to be doing the same thing all the time, and to not do anything that they aren't told to do. I don't mean they just expect them to not, say, scream and run around and break stuff. They are expected to walk in a certain way, not ask questions that don't come directly from the book being read, do their projects in the same way, etc. I am a little less strict... I really don't mind kids doing things like wiggling along in their own little dance as they walk down the hall, or coloring a dog purple instead of brown, or asking lots of questions. I am more about giving kids a little bit of space to explore and learn and let their personalities show. I would be more likely to step in and put my foot down for things like hurting others or being unkind. So I never did manage to fit in at that school. Most of the teachers, and the principal, and several of the aides, really didn't think much of me at all. I guess in a way, they mistook my kindness for weakness.
I loved the kids though... especially the little boy I worked with, Taz, a seven-year-old firecracker who jumps into life head first every single day. I've felt bad because most of the time I've spent redirecting him for doing "bad" things that I believe were really just his personality shining through... like dancing in the hallway, giving high fives to his friends, hugging teachers, etc. I would have much rather correct him for the larger things... like crawling inside his desk to hide, for instance... and left the little things slide. But as an aide I didn't have that choice. The other kids were great, too.
So tomorrow is my last day. And now that it is over, I feel kind of sad! I will miss the kids. I will miss the routine of having somewhere to go each day, even though I knew that by this point I was just showing up because they couldn't get rid of me in the middle of the year unless I punched someone or set fire to the building! I will miss the four or five staff members that I got to know and got to be somewhat friends with. Even though even they didn't really ever accept me into the group. They'd do things like all go out to lunch together without asking or inviting me, or go in together on a gift for someone else in the building, without seeing if I'd want to participate.
I know I sound like a whiny little kid here. But that's just how I feel. I know my outlook is somewhat clouded by depression right now, and in a few weeks I may feel like my life is a bowl of cheeries!