Here's how it goes - The first five people that reply gets to answer 5 questions (asked by me) on their own blog and then the whole process gets repeated there!
Here are the questions Shrode asked me over at Thinklings.
How did you meet Tom? Who is he?
I had him...Tom is my son, oldest child - according to a five year old we know, "The pokey haired dude"
2. How many children do you have? What is special about each one of them?
Two, both of them brilliant, if somewhat unmotivated.
The boy is 18 - starting college for some kind of (TBA) computer science thing. Tom, for the first time this year, was able to verbalize that good came out of his dad's death - We had a kid living with us in a very bad situation that felt that "everything is random". Tom would reply, "nothing is random, we belong to a God who is in control of the universe." He went on to list the good things that have happened since Art died, that would not have happened if Art had lived. To me, that is special - not many kids could lose their dad at age 14 and be able to see good in it.
The girl-child is younger and just got her first job! She doesn't like pink - in fact she appears to have some kind of pathalogical thing against the color. It's unfortunate that her first job is in a very pink store. She's adventurous. She just pulled herself out of public school and is homeschooling for the first time as a junior, dual-enrolled at 16 in our local community college. She also has her nose pierced...
3. How and when did you first become a teacher? What's the best part about being a teacher? The worst? Why are you in between jobs right now? How's the job hunt going?
Well...I'm not exactly a teacher, but not a para-pro either. The district that I work for has a rather unique position about half-way inbetween (child care worker or non-certified teacher). We work with severely impaired students, physically or mentally - and child care workers are the "second" staff in classrooms for students with autism. That's what I've been doing for almost 8 years.
I first started subbing because I wanted a job where could pick and choose what days I worked and right after I started I was put into a long-term position with a first-grader in a wheelchair (spina bifida). After that, I was offered another long term position (they liked me) in a room with students with autism. Having watched "Rainman", I was a little nervous, but I ended up really liking these special people. When the job was offered to be permentantly, I took it.
The best part of my job are the "breakthroughs"; getting a student to learn his colors in sign language, etc. The job I'm leaving now, the focus for most of the students was life skills - so I went on a lot of job sites - restaurants, grocery stores, retailers. I also got to play floor hockey.
The job I'm leaving now - I think maybe the worst part is having people not see the value in what I do. For some people, severe mental impairments are scary and they don't see the value in getting these kids out into the community - and the extra expense for the district is not worth it (I've heard, "spend the money on somebody who will make something of themselves"). I also have a very hard time when I see impaired students targetted because they can't defend themselves.
I'm not exactly in-between jobs - I'm bidding out of one job in my district and bidding on another one - so my job will be the same, but in a different school with different kids (and a different age group). I have teenagers at home, teenagers at church and teenagers at work - I want to be with little kids...and may be making a switch from students with autism to students with severe emotional impairments. If I could put my finger on why I feel the desire to do that, I'd be able to verbalize it, but I can't. A very dear friend reminds me that kids like we're talking about need Christian teachers.
4. Why did you decide to have a tatoo? What does your family think about it? What is it?
My tattoo is a week old today! I recently took stock of where I am, what I've done and how I've changed and/or grown. And something that might seem out of character underscores the change. This tattoo is a celtic-style cross, only instead of knot work on the crossbar, there are Greek letters, Christos - Christ on the cross. For me, in my Reformation from Arminianism, Christ alone on the cross means that there is no room there for my works, my filthy rags (righteousness). It's all Christ on there. My son designed it (so it's not exactly professional, but I'll probably end up going back to have it shaded later) and the letters are in Greek because Manda and I are taking a Greek class together. So both my kids are "in" the design.
My family...both my kids watched while I was getting it - Tom will likely end up getting one similar (he's already designed it) and Manda wants a tattoo, but a "cute" one - she's looking at a lily (Christ's "lilies of the field")
My "big family" will probably give me "the look" but be okay with it - except my mom...she doesn't know yet...but we have a big family wedding next weekend, so I'll show and tell then.
5. What's the worst movie you ever saw? The worst song you ever heard? The worst book you ever read? The worst meal you ever ate?
Movie: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Song: Muskrat Love
Book: There have been a few that I just put away - the last one that I hated was my Spanish textbook, but that was me, not the book.
Meal: I cooked it - it ended up being "scrambled pancakes" when camping - something bad happened...
6. What one quality of Jesus's do you wish you had more of?
(these all go together) The courage to speak when I should and the wisdom to shut up when I should. The ability to know when to "shake the dust off my feet" and move on.