So, a few of you already know I’m a special education Paraeducator. I’ve been at my current school for 7 years. I’m comfortable and feel “safe” in my routines there, but I’m very unhappy. It’s a very toxic environment and I just hide out in my classroom with a teacher who uses me and expects me to do her job too. However, I love my students, know my job and do it well, have bonded with a few teachers, and have my own space (classroom, desk, laptop, and all needed supplies).
I took a leap and interviewed for same job I do now (same hours/pay) at a new school with an excellent reputation and great staff. My assistant principal, who I adore and have worked with for past 3 years, has transferred there and recommended me. My friend, a teacher who was a long term substitute in my classroom when regular teacher had knee surgery, is the teacher I will be working with. This sounds good so far, right? Anxiety tells me NO NO NO..... you can’t handle this change Eileen. Why are you giving up something you are comfortable with for the unknown? The unknown is scary and full of miserable outcomes and you will regret leaving what you’ve known for past 7 years. Besides, I (anxiety) need all your attention so you can’t focus on something entirely new and different, I won’t allow it.
This new school does special ed completely different. I won’t have my own classroom, desk, comfy hideout.... I will be “pushing into” classrooms and working with students in small groups in their classroom instead of “pulling out” into my own classroom for small group. I won’t have a place of my own to escape to and will be traveling the school from room to room meeting with students during my work day. I’m not sure I like this. It’s different and scares me.
My phone just rang with the offer from my friend and assistant principal. I froze and didn’t answer it. I know my current school will be upset I’m leaving because they depend on me, but other than that, I blend in. It’s like they have their click and my anxiety and being so introverted keeps me from being let in which, I guess, is fine with me. I do my job, know my way around, my students adore me, and I go home.
I don’t know what to do! Stay or go? I’m so scared. Advice?