I don’t think there’s a teacher I’ve ever known who doesn’t have this fantasy.
It’s not about the perfect class or the perfect principal (although those are often secondary fantasies).
It’s about starting my own school. You know, the one where you and your bestest teacher friends who of course are the BESTEST TEACHERS EVAR find the funding and the facility to set up the ideal program. We all have this dream, even the most jaded, burned-out twenty-seven-year-veteran-clinging-by-her-fingertips-to-qualify-for-pension-status. Sit in the faculty room long enough and bits and pieces of the dream surface.
“You know, if I could only get these resources, wouldn’t it be cool to try this.”
“I’d love to do this, but the class schedule/pacing guide/district curriculum/principal/director of curriculum and instruction/setup/whatever else exists to impede innovation doesn’t allow it.”
“We don’t have enough time to do X, and we need to spend more time doing Y.”
Off-site, in secluded restaurants or people’s homes, wherever it’s safe to talk without administration present, more details surface. Like I said, every teacher has the seed of what the perfect program would be somewhere in their brain. The picture they have generally is populated with the perfect students, it’s always sunny, and bird songs fill the air.
(so why do images from the creepy Red Room scenes in Twin Peaks keep whispering through my brain?)
I have that dream as well. A special ed super-tutorial service, incorporating basic academics with horse therapy, focused on kids with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and mild emotional issues. An hour of academics followed by horse time, with a lot of groundwork. LOTS of groundwork. Maybe incorporate a little bit of mildly spoiled horse rehab where the rehab doesn’t involve dangerous behaviors, just pushy horses who need a tuneup in manners and that would be a challenge for more skilled kids as you go through the skill development progress.
It’s not likely to happen. It requires the right combination of insurance, customer base, and facility. I’m pretty dang sure the customer base doesn’t exist where I live now, and I couldn’t afford to move and go through what is needed to set up a program like this in the places where the customer base is. Additionally, I’d want to work with kids who wouldn’t have the money to pay for the service…which means flogging a non-profit.
Lots of legal and business impediments.
But that doesn’t mean that the idea doesn’t still linger in the brain. Occasionally I take the dream out and play with it for an hour or so, thinking over structure and process.
Then I pack it away. Like I said, not likely to happen.
It is a nice little dream, though.