I'm one of the lucky ones---I've had a stable job for 24 years. So stable, in fact, that I've worked at the same school, IN THE SAME ROOM, all of this time. When I sit back and think about it, it has become my own personal time machine. It doesn't seem like 24 years to me---actually time goes by in the blink of an eye. One minute, you have toddlers, and the next, they're adults. If you are lucky, you have some constant in your life (a house, a community, and in my case, a room) where you can reflect and observe the passage of time from a position of stability. As I ponder from my speech room, here's what I know:
- When I started in 1992, my computer had no hard drive. Everything was 5 1/2 inch floppies.
- There were only 4 phones in the school (landlines). A school receptionist wrote messages to us from outside callers and stuck them in our box.
- The internet didn't exist.
- IEPs were handwritten on carbon paper.
- What's 504?
- What's a computer mouse?
- What's a cell phone?
- I had a delightful caseload of about 25 kids; none in regular education classrooms had autism.
- Augmentative communication was emerging. Boardmaker wasn't in our school. I hand-drew lots of communication boards.
- Kids of that time are now some of our parents.
I feel a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. As she is in the tornado, she watches her life literally flash before her eyes. I'm sure you remember the scene.
Forgive me for my rambling. I only have one month left in my time machine. This has been a great ride. Time for something new!