One of the most difficult years of my life as a classroom teacher was being placed on a plan-of-action. I had one year to show improvement. This horrible evaluation was triggered by my middle child. He attended the same school where I was employed and was having all kinds of problems. His 504 Plan was not being enforced and I don't know how many times his medical documentation was missing from his cumulative record. Most of his problems were caused by the physical education teacher, who ignored the teasing and bullying inflicted upon him by certain students, because he couldn't get his body to move like everyone else. His medical letter clearly stated the need for Adaptive P. E., and someone continued to remove that letter from his file.
I guess I was a thorn in the principal's butt and she would find a way to get rid of me. Luckily, it wasn't that easy! Over that summer, I had a hard look at my situation. First, my son needed help in his fine and gross coordination. From doing my own research, I discovered that learning to swim could help him to improve in gross mobility and learning the play the piano could help improve finger dexterity. He did show improvement and these lessons would continue for several more years, as well as helping to improve his self-esteem.
Once I figured out a plan in helping my son, that's when I decided to help myself. I needed my job! As I pondered over my situation, I knew I had to really make some startling changes in my classroom. I totally redesigned the classroom, so it would provide a shock for the principal coming in to observe. Also, I'd find a way to stand out, instead of remaining in the shadows, like a bug waiting to be stepped on.
My chance came when my spouse was deployed overseas during the Persian Gulf War. I wrote a lyrical poem. I met with the music teacher and one afternoon we came up with a piano score. One thing led to another, and we had a song that hit the national airwaves. No more being the shadows, I was placed in the limelight and by the end of that year, my plan-of-action, just disappeared, just like that!
I decided to write a book about creating this amazing song and did use my real name on the cover!