It is official I can retire in May of 2016 from teaching. I know some people who say they will stay in the classroom as long as they can. Believe me, I love my students and feel God has given me gifts that have touched the lives of my students in positive ways. What a privilege to be a part of the path of such incredible kids and their families.
I am going to retire in May of 2016. God has a plan for my life with this next phase. His plan is not for me to sit on our couch and eat bonbons but to pick up myself and put my experiences to use in some other way. For a bit now, I have felt led to be a juvenile probation officer or to work for Children Youth and Families. Each person that comes in contact with these officials needs encouragement and support to get past their circumstances and move on to a better path.
Next Spring, I have the opportunity to take a 20 hour course on ABA-Applied Behavior Analysis. Autism Speaks says- Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health. Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live happy and productive lives. In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective.
With my career of working with students with ASD and emotional/ behavior needs this is the perfect tool for me to add to my bag. Maybe God is telling me I will continue working with people on the spectrum or their families in some way.
Whatever my after school life holds, I am excited and ready. I know God has big plans for the next chapter of my life. I just look forward to embracing the next year and a half with my kiddos at the middle school knowing these will likely be my last bunch.