The first piece of news is I got the grade back on my first assignment for my emotions class. It was an A!
Ok, now to tell about the big trip to Ohio... I arrived at about 10:30, just in time to observe the braille lesson. Part of what I would be doing is reinforcing those lessons, transcribing classroom materials, etc. The only other settings I observed were recess and lunch, both terribly confusing environments in which I have no cluehow I would keep up with where he was. I'm sure it would be something workable, but it would mean enlisting the help of students via a buddy type system or other teachers. I was just proud that I didn't space out in the cafeteria. Actually, I was quite entertained by his interactions with his classmates.
After the cafeteria observation, the present aide and the child's mom took me to lunch. They are both very sweet and positive people. The mom is completely in favor of me being hired but doesn't have much say in the issue. We all discussed various aspects of the aide's duties, how I might be able to get them done with my limitations, and what suggestions I might have for modifying curriculum for him since I've been a blind student before.
After lunch, there was the interview with the principal and the school psychologist. The school psychologist is very laid back and seems open-minded. The principal intimidated me to no end. She asked a lot of "How would you do ..." type questions which brought back a lot of feelings of being challenged from teacher prep program days. Then she got into describing his behavior on bad days--he has a lot of autistic tendencies. She asked me how I would respond, how I felt about being cursed at, etc. I think I did pretty good at staying calm through that part of it. Then she asked if I had ever had to restrain anyone.
She told me that she has other applicants, but as I was getting ready to leave the school psychologist came running out and wanted me to go over and meet with the superintendent. He has final say in the issue of who gets hired. His interview was lessintimidating. Mom seems to think this is a good sign and that they would not have sent me there if they hadn't liked me. After that was done, we went to McDonald's with mother and child for a snack. His mom said that the principal had been very impressed with my answers to her questions. I was shocked.
I'm feeling really good but afraid to trust it. The pay is not great, but it's tolerable, especially if I can find ways to supplement it--and I think that I can. Health benefits are excellent. Community is wonderful. Child is precious. Mother is wonderful and a potential friend.