Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kid Sister and A New Career Path(?)

GLEE! My favorite characters are Brittany, Emma and Sue Sylvester.

I am writing from my sister Lisa’s place. She rents an awesome and massive apartment above a shop on the main square in the town where she lives. Its hardwood floors, lofty ceilings and painted metal kitchen cabinets give it real charm. In addition to living in a cool apartment, my sister is incredible. She is my bff and confidante, a person to bounce ideas off of, and a person who will give me tough loving when I need it. She loves mob movies and young adult fiction (which are really not that far removed from one another if you think about it). She teaches eighth grade English and Social Studies. From what I’ve witnessed, Lisa is a fun teacher who has high expectations. She works hard and feels a deep responsibility toward her students.

Tonight, we had a Glee get-together (a day late, I know) with a good friend and co-worker of Lisa’s. We ate pizza and discussed the drama, drama, drama that occurs on Glee. In the middle of all this discussion, I realized that while I enjoy Glee and am a fan of musicals, I am just not a Gleek. I can leave the show on the screen when it ends. I regularly miss multiple episodes in a row. I am even okay with being a little behind on several major plot developments. Unfortunately, I am a disappointment to Gleeks everywhere.

I will be going back to middle school tomorrow, which is a terrifying thought. Luckily, this time I will be an adult and a visitor. I am going to shadow some of the Special Education teachers at Lisa’s school. I am really excited to see what they do for their students. For the past five plus years, I have been teaching Art and other classes to adults with developmental disabilities through a wonderful program in Kansas City. I LOVE it. I find it highly fulfilling for multiple reasons: I enjoy teaching; I feel like I am truly serving others and improving their lives; I am incredibly patient and enjoy seeing even small gains; I feel like I learn even more from my students than they do from me; I ADORE my students. Since I have been given this unexpected opportunity to reevaluate my life goals and find a new position, I have been considering returning to school to get certified to teach. Most people who know me would probably think I would want to go back and get certified to teach Art, because a) I LOVE Art (making it, viewing it, talking about it, thinking about it) and b) I already have an MFA and a BFA. However, there is a real need for Special Education teachers, and I know I have the right personality and experience for working with Special Ed students. I think Special Ed could be a niche I fit into really well, and I am very excited to see how younger students differ from my adult students! I am not 100% sure this is the route I’m going to take, but that is why I am doing a little advance research.


  1. It went really well! I'm going back tomorrow... I'll post about my experiences this weekend. :)

  2. OMG, Alison! What a wonderful development! I am so excited for you! I think you would make a genuinely exceptional teacher, and I love what you had to say about your experience with helping people, giving back, and seeking to improve the lives of others. How exciting to be exploring a (possible) new niche, and to have the opportunity to 'test the water' before diving in!

    You go, girl!