Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It's been a while.

It's been about a year since I blogged. I'm not sure exactly why I stopped, but I've been wanting to get back into it. Even if no one reads, it helps me to have a creative outlet for my writing. Also, it saves me from having to write several facebook posts or lengthy status updates (do people even use that term anymore?)

I'm currently feeling both anxious and excited about the future. Daniel and I have plans to move in togehter in July. We are looking at the Franklin County area of MA (think northern western MA, near eastern VT and south-west NH). We are also considering Brattleboro VT. I'm excited, because frankly it sucks living two hours away from my partner. I'm anxious because I've never lived with a partner before, and so this is a big step. I'm also anxious because July seems so far away.

I also have some big plans for the future of my career that are both exciting and a bit scary. Currently I am going through my Master of Education program at BU (Teaching and Curriculum-Special Education track). My plan is to become certified in NH through their Alternative 4 (critical shortage list) program. Here's how it works;

  • Pre-requisite: 2 courses in special education, passing score on Praxis.
  • Fill out a statement of eligability (SOE) that would allow me to be hired in a NH school district as a Special Education teacher.
  • Get assigned a mentor.
  • Fill out a beginning of plan. There are a list of competencies I would need to fulfill and the beginning of plan would establish  which ones I've fulfilled (most likely with course work).
  • I then have 3 years to fulfill the rest of the competencies (and I can get a year extention if needed).
I like this plan for a few reasons;
  1. I like the idea of being hired as a SpEd teacher, but knowing I will probably have support and help when dealing with aspects of the job that allign with competencies I have not yet fulfilled. For example, if I haven't learned to write an IEP yet, more than likely someone at the school would help me or at the very least look over what I've written.
  2. Taking the Praxis is going to (from what I've been told) be easier than taking the MTEL. It's also one test (with different core tests) vs 4-5 seperate tests. Which means, less money.
  3. It just seems like a less complicated path to teacher certification. Less red tape and bureaucracy than MA.
So my plan/goal is as follows.
  • Finish this school year (June 2018)
  • Work one more year as a para (Sept 2018-June 2019)
  • Finish degree program (December 2018)
  • Take Praxis (sometime before summer 2019)
  • Apply for SOE for alternative 4 (summer 2019)
  • Hopefully get hired as a SpEd teacher for 2019/2020 school year
I am super excited about all of this, but also very anxious and nervous. I tend to be very rigid with my planning and, well, "best laid plans...." I naturally worry about all the, "what ifs..." I also have a hard time when I can't control my external world (it's imporant to me since I feel not in control internally a lot). I also have a lot of anxiety about getting older and being a "late bloomer." I'm excited about moving forward, but anxious that I'll be 37-38. I'm also, understandably, anxious about starting at a new job. Having to learn to navigate a new school, get to know new co-workers. I love where I work, my supervisors know me well, and I can be open about my issues. I also have a great relationship with the teachers I work with.

I've been managing my anxiety and BPD pretty well. I've had a spattering of anger outbursts, panic attacks, but I think I've been able to handle and come out of them quicker and more effectively. I'm however, frustrated because I really haven't had consistent therapy since I moved back to the Boston area in 2015. I had a psychiatrist for about a year, did a partial program, and completed a DBT program. However, I haven't had a therapist for more than a few months at a time. Either because of scheduling, the therapist leaving, or on one occasion I didn't think it was a good fit. I recently did an intake with Fenway in Novemeber, had to wait until February to start a CBT group, only to miss 2 in a row (I had the flu), and be told I had to wait until May. I called to get a psych appointment (my PCP is currently prescribing my meds), and I have to wait until May. Great, I'm moving in July. I plan on calling about individual therapy, but more than likely it will be a months long wait. I really don't want to look outside of Fenway. My whole reason for switching over is so all my providers were in one space.

I have also been anxious regarding my finances. This also ties in with my sometimes inability to be flexible and realize that sometimes things won't go perfectly as planned. This is especially difficult becuase I don't have the kind of salary where I can save and have money for large, unexpected expenses. It's one or the other. So I spend a lot of time hoping nothing goes wrong, and when it does I get discouraged.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of yoga, writing, and I recently started a Queer coloring group. My UU community has also helped me tremendously. 

I think that's a pretty good update for my first blog in a year. Hopefully I can keep up with this.

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