When I was a teacher, towards the end of my tenure, my population of children were coming in more violent than ever before.  I was teaching deaf pre-k.  Now, I want to reiterate and say that the entire population was not violent...but before that, I would have maybe 1 or 2 violent children at a time....and I was up to about 3-5 violent children at a time.  Also, prior to this, we teachers would go into the homes prior to the child turning 3 years of age.  During those home visits, we would teach the parents about the rights of their children and about communication.  So, that when the child was 3 years of age, they had some communication before they entered the public school.  However, towards the end of my tenure, parents were turning down this free opportunity (???) and therefore, the children had absolutely no communication what-so-ever aside from pointing, hitting, punching, kicking, biting, pulling, and screaming in order to get their individual points across.  That is difficult to handle with one child, but I was dealing with 4 children who were like this during the last year that I taught the hearing impaired.  Also, prior to this, I usually have a couple of parents who were deaf.  During group meetings, I would allow the deaf parents to explain what it was like growing up in a hearing home where they lacked communication...and I could tell you stories that would make your skin crawl.  Don't get me wrong...their hearing parents all had good intentions...but these deaf individuals were so misunderstood much of the time within some of the families where parents only learned the minimal amount of sign language to communicate and had poor receptive skills.  There were many a time, when I taught middle school, when kids would come to school in the morning and ask me to call their parents to tell them their side of the story of things that had happened at home because the parents misunderstood a situation and had punished the child by removing privileges.  I would hear parents sigh on the other side of the phone...and often times...cry...because they knew that they had done wrong by their child.  I tell you all of this because I want to form an empathy for what happened to me with one of these very young students in my last year within the HI classroom.  I don't blame the child.

Without going into detail which could cause a lawsuit should a parent read this, I was injured by a student very badly that could have resulted in expulsion, but didn't.  I was on the ground and luckily had a teacher witness the incident.  I took a very bad blow to the neck.  At the time, I was unaware of how badly I was injured.  I do not know if I hit my head or not...but I do know that the blow to the neck caused me to form fluid in my brain behind my inner ear....and after much research and testing...I had migraines and vertigo so bad that I could not get out of bed in the morning without falling on the floor.  I crawled around a lot in those earlier days.  Medications have not helped in draining the fluid....and shunts would be too close to the bundle of nerves that include the optic, hearing, taste, and smell.  So, I went for several years where I couldn't keep track of time....I would miss appointments.  I couldn't stand up without teetering.  People would look at me while I was in the stores and think that I was drunk.  But, I am much better now....but still burned out on kids...and I hate feeling that way.  I keep a healthy distance from all children.  I am not sure when that happened...a year or two after I retired from teaching...but I do feel that way.  I am not proud of this feeling since kids were always my whole life.  But they told me that I suffered some brain damage and that these feelings will sometimes happen...but that it might pass over time...and that has been the case.  I can now be around children, but choose not to teach them anymore.  So, that is what happened in another nutshell...which must be a big one because of all of these paragraphs...LOL.  But, I do miss teaching.

On the day that I quit my job (I had a vertigo-free day), I decided to take a walk in the neighborhood.  I can remembering going down the block when suddenly, this bubble ebbed up from my spirit and I stood there standing in front of someone's house, bawling uncontrollably.  It was then that I realized, that upon quitting my job, a part of me had died...and I was in mourning.  I had defined myself as Vicki Kee, teacher of the hearing impaired...instead of Vicki Kee, the person.  It is funny how we can do that to ourselves in order to have purpose in life...and I was single and that was my purpose...a calling from God...which is an entirely different story.  I loved what I did.  I even loved working with violent kids.  In most cases, their behaviors would change once they were able to communicate their needs.  But, I came across one child who did not change.  This child needed medications to control her behavior.  This child's mother actually apologized to me that she hadn't allowed the meds to be administered prior to my accident.  This child's adrenaline would escalate uncontrollably when this child's wants (not needs) were not met.  The school's response to this was to send me to classes for self defense for teachers....and none of the moves that I learned could legally be used with a child of this height.  The school was at a loss as to what to do.  My principal kept having me research alternative schools for the child.  The parents weren't interested.  But, that is my story. 

BTW....the story has a happy ending.  This child is now in high school and with medication, performs to expectations.  This beautiful child has a chance to blend into what we call a "normal" society.  God bless that child.