Sunday, February 7, 2010

Switching Channels...temporarily

I started a new (temporary) job as a long term substitute special education teacher last week. I'm doing home visits for children from birth to age 3 years in the St. Paul School District. I'm filling-in for a teacher on maternity leave, so I'm very fortunate WCCO-TV has allowed me to take a leave through mid-Arpil. I'll be back doing the t.v. reporting thing 3 days a week after that.

For those who didn't know, I'm working on a licensure/Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of St. Thomas. I'm a little more than halfway through, which means I could have a license by this time next year. I learned so much from Mieko and my experience with special education that this seemed the right thing to do. Mieko and all of the other kids I saw at Rondo School showed me every child has potential. I can't think of many things that could be more rewarding than helping a child overcome obstacles to live a better life.

After my first week of home visits, I realized that it's not that much different from reporting. I'm meeting new people from all walks of life, learning about them, and compiling and processing a lot of information. I've never had a "desk job" and I think this is going to suit me well. Of course,the goal is entirely different. I love playing with the babies and toddlers, but I still have a great deal to learn. Luckily, I have a supportive team to help me and I know several of the other teachers and therapists who took care of Mieko. In many ways, it feels like going home.

In other news... Hana had her 15 month check-up. She now weighs 22 pounds 8 ounces and is 30.5 inches long. She still doesn't have many words, but uses "no" and "uh-oh" pretty liberally. She's also starting to share toys and bring books to us. It's very cool to watch her hit milestones as I'm studying child development. Hana has become very good at climbing up stairs and can walk down stairs while holding the railing. She's just started having some separation anxiety, but it usually doesn't last long. Hana really gets scared by "Tracy the Talking Tree" at the Rainforest Cafe. I think she left a mark on Daddy's ears.

The only concern we've had lately is with her blood sugar. She sometimes shakes , especially her hands, so we had her blood sugar tested. It was low, so we started testing her at home. It's the same kit diabetics use, but low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the opposite of diabetes. So far, she hasn't had any low readings. We hope it was all a fluke.

Luckily, we've been able to rearrange all of Hana's classes, so we're still going to baby ballroom, ECFE, and music. We're also enjoying weekends off together. Though Mommy and Hana don't get to play as much during the week, Hana is spending more time with her cousins. Hopefully, they won't eat her ;) They are great. As you can see, they love entertaining her. So, here we go on the next big adventure. So far, so good.