Well, in a few minutes I'm off to a "Return to Work" meeting to see if any of the recommendations brought forward at the previous meeting have been implemented. Thankfully I am accompanied by my union reps who are some pretty tough women, let me tell you. They want to make sure that when I return in September it will be to a "safer" environment. No one can guarantee 100% safety though, I know that.
It's a nerve wracking process. However, I do feel like I am turning a corner with regard to my emotions. In the first couple of weeks I was anxious, depressed and felt like a failure. Now I'm angry. Angry that I had to go through most of the school year unsupported even though I sought help for my classroom innumerable times. Angry that when I had to intervene with a student because his primary EAs FROZE, I was injured and NO ONE came to my assistance. Angry that only when a parent complained did the administration listen. Within hours I had another male EA to help out. Angry that when the EAs had to restrain a student to prevent him from biting them the parent called it physical assault. Angry that aggressive students are placed in classrooms which are not suited to their particular needs. Angry that I don't have the resources, equipment and staff to adequately serve these students. Angry that I had to take what I consider desperate measures in order to make something happen.
So I'll see what this meeting brings. I have applied for another teaching position but with so many teachers declared surplus this year it will likely go to someone who has NO job right now.
Wish me luck!