Two weeks from today I will be back at work. I can't believe my leave is almost up.
I've been going in once a week to get to know the kids and watch their routines. It's odd to be a stranger in my own classroom, observing as an outsider. Although the kids are all excited when we talk about me coming back I don't think they really understand what a significant change it will be. I don't think they realize that the teacher they have gotten to know over the last 12 weeks will be gone and I will take her place. For children with special needs who thrive on routines and structure this is going to be especially hard.
I won't respond to their behaviors the way their substitute did, simply because we are different people. I have a feeling we are going to have a period of testing and restlessness as we all get to know each other.
There is so much I've missed in these first 12 weeks. Developments in their behaviors, their diagnosis, the relationships with their parents and the school, their use of equipment, what works and what doesn't. I feel like I am going to have a steep learning curve of where each child is, right when I am not on my a game myself from lack of sleep and the emotional adjustment of leaving my little one.
This whole 12 week maternity leave thing is for the birds! No wonder women make less than men in the work place! When we come back from leave we are not the with-it workers we once were with our sleepless nights. I use to be able to throw myself into my job, now I'm going to have to make some serious readjustments in my expectations of myself.
I'm excited to go back and work with the kids. I miss them like crazy. But the whole getting up early, being productive, trying to problem solve, write IEPs, and be on top of the game... Not sure I'm ready for all of that.