Friday, July 03, 2009

Job Update

My employer is an entity which supports the school districts in our county with programs that are basically too expensive for any one district to pay. The school districts in the county pay us for those services which supply the Early Intervention program, to the Complex Needs Classroom, from Speech Therapists to Nursing, and pretty much anything that isn't the basic school services.

While I was in Canada, I got a message on facebook from my co-worker in my old classroom. She had been asked if she was interested in working in a behavioral setting, vs. the complex needs room. She said she'd declined, and I might get a call to work there. It's a full-time job again.

We are combining with the school districts and the area mental health providers to create a classroom setting for K-12 students who are restricted from regular education due to behavioral issues. It's supposed to be a transitionary school to help those kids overcome their issues, so they can be reintroduced over time into a regular education setting. It's a bit different from the old program in that it has more oversight and should only have the MOST difficult students in the district. Also, the old program, once the kids were there, they stayed. The new program sets a limit on how many months they are supposed to stay at that location, and then go back to the least restrictive classroom environment.

On Tuesday, I did get the call. At first the gal on the phone was offering me a choice of either the behavioral class or the pre-school class (I thought I was already slotted for the pre-school?). I asked if both jobs were the same hours (I understood the pre-school was 30, vs the 35/week for the other). She actually didn't know, so she had to check & call me back.

When she called back, she affirmed it was only the behavioral room that was full-time with benefits, so I said, "Yes, I'm interested."

Yesterday I got a call from the supervisor from that program to come in an sign forms & basically get the low down on the job. I haven't worked in a setting like this one before, but I think I have the skills I'll need.

He wanted to make sure I understood that this is a new program, under three different magnifying glasses from three different areas. Everyone is going to be watching to see what we are doing has actual benefit to the students. He described the Steps & Tiers that will be used to identify the needs and services for the students (our room will be like the Third Step, Fifth Tier). There will be a lot of data coming along with the kids that make it up to our room. It will be the teacher, me, and a person from Mental Health in the classroom. We will also have additional support from a therapist who will work between two locations of the same classroom system.

It wasn't really an interview, more of a transfer because of seniority, but I felt I should put him a little more at ease about me joining in with this program.

I let him know that I had been part of creating a support group for parents of students with emotional and behavioral issues. We had found that about half of us had kids with autism, and the other half had kids with bi-polar, depression, aggression, etc. issues. As parents, we'd found that although the behaviors came from different sources, the best method to deal with our kids was to be consistent, patient and clear on expectations. As I have two kids on the spectrum, that's pretty much how I work with everyone. Because it works.

He also didn't know that I hold a Bachelor's degree in Child Development. I get the feeling I'll be using a lot more of my education at this location vs. my old classroom where it was mostly about positioning, feeding, and bathrooming :) So that's actually exciting.

By the time I left, I think he was rather relieved that I was the one next in line for the job. Especially since he had to deal with the gal that had been ousted from my old classroom due to certain issues - she had been placed in this program & has now resigned. Which is why the spot opened up.

The other differences are that this new job is 15 miles away, vs. 2. I'm not looking forward to snowy weather, but I'll see if I can't find some carpool buddy or something to help with that. I won't be right across the street from Connor's school, and we'll have to figure out the bussing and times and all that too. He used to get picked up & dropped off at my school. His hours are different now anyway, just because he's starting Jr. High. Lee will have to be the first call now in case of emergencies because he'll be a lot closer.

So - no loss of benefits, and no loss of wages :) I'm good with that.


Re-Navy!! said...

wow that DOES sound like something you would be better at! Your methods worked even with a girl like me. I may not have had real problems but i had issues and your methods always seemed to help in somway. I think this job is PERFECT for you!

Tina said...

Thanks Nae. :) I always appreciate a vote of confidence :)

- Rob said...

A chance to do what you were trained for AND to work full time? Sounds like you are getting a well deserved break!

Good luck!

keeka said...

no more changing kids. To me that is a big plus. I had that when I went from support staff (or potty patrol) to teacher. So yay, you!