Z-boy and Perfect Attendance Boy

So, today was a great day! Not one restraint for Z-boy from me! I consider this a great week! We have had two days this week where I haven't had to restrain him. I consider this a little victory in my little world. I had to get onto him a few times, but I never had to restrain him! Praise the Lord! And, we have one day left. Part of me is actually sad because I have finally gotten somewhere with him, and the other part of me is ready for the break. His family is thinking about moving to Texas, and I hope that's not the case. I would like to be able to follow his progress from a distance, as I have really bonded with him. I think that's the hardest part of this job for me, you make an impact, bond with the kids, and then they're gone! Ah well, a seed has been planted...kinda neat...

I have a funny story for ya! I have another boy, Brandon, who's in my class just for the Summer, who has worn me out. He's not a behavior problem overall, he just can't remember stuff day to day, so what you teach him one day doesn't always carry over to the next day. So, yesterday, we were in reading a book one-on-one, and one of our aides came in to use my computer. As she was looking at my desk, she saw my attendance sheet. What followed had me laughing all day long...I probably shouldn't have laughed so hard, but...

Aide: "Brandon, I see you have perfect attendance this summer!"
(Brandon looks from aide to me to her again)
Brandon: "What?"

Aide: "You have perfect attendance, that's really good!"

Brandon: "Perfect Attendance?"
(Brandon looks at the aide again, then to me, then to the aide again)
This his eyebrow moves and he looks at me again...

Me: "You've been here every day!"

The aide and I looked at each other and laughed.....

Welcome to my world....

Have a great day!
Take care of you!

The Entry I Thought I Would Write, Then Didn't, Then Did Again, Then Just Wished I'd Not Have To.

Dad left us today around 11:30am. It was so very peaceful. Please expect a period of gushy reflection, followed by silence followed by I cannot imagine what.

Thank you.

Cavin' in....

Greetings!

So, today I caved in, and called my chiropractor. Yeah, Saturday and I caved in and called. I have never, ever, called him on a weekend for treatment, but I was in enough pain it was either that or the ER. Fortunately, he lives across the street from me and he called me back and told me he'd adjust me. I went over, and in 10 minutes, I felt better. I wasn't completely healed, but I was no longer fighting tears, so I considered that progress. I am still going in Monday after tutoring my autistic student, but I am no longer fighting tears, so this is progress. Praise the Lord for Chiropractors! Life feels better now. :-)

I am enjoying the day off without needing to restrain anyone. :-) 5 days left with Z-boy. You wanna know the crazy part? I was thinking today that I will miss him...go figure, eh?

Well, I guess that's about it for today. Have a blessed day and TAKE CARE OF YOU! :-)

He Is An AmeriCAN, Not An AmeriCAN'T

I can't vote for this man, but if anyone within the sound of this keyboard can, consider it an Educat endorsement. A ringing Educat endorsement. I only regret that I cannot rent a home in his district and vote for him myself. Every time I start talking about him I fear that I sound like I make him a man-myth ("He learned French from comic books!! He team taught with Michael Feldman!! He built his home from directions in the Mother Earth News!!!*), so we'll leave it at this.

*None of these facts are mythical. Not a dang one.

Hunter

Greetings!

So tonight I sit here in quite a bit of physical pain. "Why" you ask...well, thanks for asking...Here's the story...

I was paged to the office of my school yesterday. When I was paged and I heard a kid screaming in the background, I knew it wasn't good. (When your trained in Crisis Intervention, you're often called to help in situations that have nothing to do with you) I went down (praying the whole way) and there were two adults restraining this kid named "hunter". I had never noticed this kid before in my life. However, I walked in and our secretary had his two arms, and my principal had his two legs pinned to the ground. I walked in and said, "need help?" Now, in hindsight, I wish I had stopped and thought before I responded. But, Spring being Spring, I jumped in. I took the kid's arms and put him in the restraint hold. He's a five year old, and fortunately he weighs significantly less than Z-Boy, so he was much easier to restrain, but he was in full crisis mode. I restrained him for 20 minutes before I was able to get him to verbalize his wants/needs. With these kids, sometimes you gotta physically calm them down before they will talk. So, I got up, my legs asleep from holding him in the restraint position, and my arms felt like jello. Hence, I think I pulled something outta whack, as my neck feels like I've pinched something. I couldn't get in to see my chiropractor today, so it will be Monday before I am out of pain. I tell ya, the things we do in this teaching gig are absolutely amazing... I am earning my keep this Summer. :-) As for Hunter, his guardian came to get him and he left. And we continued our day as usual...

Z-boy was okay today. We had one restraint, which was short-lived. I am seeing some gains with him. I have worked hard to connect with him, and I believe it has worked. He's still defiant, don't get the wrong idea. But, there are some gains. He will now do some things he wouldn't do before. And, will comply more often to my requests than he did before. Go figure, I'm getting somewhere and school is about out for Summer. :-)

I am ready for the break. I can honestly say Z-Boy has taught me a great deal about unconditional love and how hard life can be for some people, ,while I was fortunate enough to be "normal". (leave it alone, those of you who know me!) It has also been hard because you wrestle this little guy to the ground, you can't show emotion (they feed off of any reaction, positive or negatvie), then you get up and act as if nothing happened and go on with life. It has drained me. One minute I am holding Z-Boy down, and the next moment you're teaching him how to right his name. All the while, you must remain calm and not get mad. With 5 days left of school, I say to God, "I have enough character, no more please."

Now that I have shared the drama in my life, I am going to lay on the couch and watch a movie I rented. Have a blessed day. TAKE CARE OF YOU!

z-boy and other tidbits

Greetings from Missouri-land! I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Today's had highs and lows for me. In the world of teaching, today was a good day. Z-boy is making some progress. We're not talking leaps and bounds, but today I didn't restrain him once, which is a GREAT day in my book. And, at the end of the day, he kissed me on the cheek! I feel so loved! He was laughing and joking with me at the end of the day. :-) My para, on the other hand, wasn't as loved, but we have different teaching styles, so I figured it was good for her to see a joyful kiddo with a pleasant teacher. Perspectives, I tell ya, a proper perspective, can change things EVERY time! My goal for today was to get him to laugh, and we did it, and there weren't any wrestling matches, YIPPEE SKIPPEE!

In other news, I shelled out big bucks to get my computer fixed...are ya ready for this? It still doesn't work! I feel ripped, shafted, robbed...I am making a phone call tomorrow. :-) Repair-dude will make things right, I guarantee it!

Our shower is out of order, and we're relying on my neighbors (who are also my landowners) for shower usage. I tell ya, LI live in a nice house, but these people have a REALLY nice house...it has made me start dreaming of what I want my dream home to be one day. Now granted, I'm a teacher, so it's not going to be as fancy-schmancy as their house, but it was really cool to see it this morning. I am dreaming....I love it!

I am debating about getting some sort of television system. We have the 4 basic channels, but I am feeling like I want more...hum...very odd. I am content with my four channels, but I have missed my other channels too. Odd, isn't it? I mean, there was a day when I was busy every night of the week. Now I'm thrilled for a night on the couch. :-) I'm old now, huh? Go figure...

Well, I guess that's all for my ramblings today. Have a great day! TAKE CARE OF YOU!

Today In Waiting Room Oddities

Right now, there's a family sitting near me in Critical Care Waiting. They are feasting on Krispy Kreme donuts that arrived right after a massive Olive Garden meal was consumed. I either admire their ability to have joy (and an appetite) in the face of grief or I wish their loved one a speedy recovery from their nose job.

I'll not judge which.

They're talking about how much they hate The Dixie Chips (not a typo, pals and gals, The Dixie Chips) and the conversation is being led by a man who has all day carried a copy of a Joel Osteen book in the front of his windpants. I am not sure if sitting is very comfortable for him right now.

That's all. No story. I just wanted to get the chance to type the words Joel Osteen pants and publish it on the internets.

Joel Osteen pants!! Joel Osteen pants!!!

I Am SIT-ting on my LAP-top 'Cause The WAIT-ing Room Has Wifi

Ok, enough. I've had it with being morose on the blog. Granted, we are still in ICU and it's been nine and a half weeks of ugly, but I don't live this sad all the time.

And a friend just reminded me of that.

The Crib Chick gave a lovely tribute to me today (and yes, those are real live, direct transcripts of two different phone conversations) and when she called to tell me about it (although I do read her blog, a phone heads up never hurts) I waiting-room-whisper-screamed to her "Get to my blog and watch the lettuce!!!!!

I have laughed at a few things...

Yesterday, we were returning a wheelchair (because to add to the party, there's a sprained ankle among us!! Get your rubber chickens, people. We are a tribe-full of Shecky Greens!!), a kid who couldn't have been more than six stood nearby waiting patiently on the wheelchair.

"You're waiting on this, aren't you?" I asked

"Yeah, if it's one of the big ones."

"It is, you can have it in just a second."

"Good. My dad needs it 'cause you know what a boil is?"

"Yeah"

"Well, he has one right here" and he points to his
genitals.

There's more funny, and I promise to try and share it.

Happy Father's Day

I watched the original last night and was crying before the lettuce came out. Thank God for that lettuce or I might have been a puddle on the floor.

We'll do dinner another day. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Z-Boy

So, it's been two weeks since I've posted, but let me tell ya, there's a reason for that. This Summer School gig is wearing me out. You're thinking, "why? It's just kids". Well, this is true, however, I have one boy who is character-building in his own way. Z-Boy is 5 and is a violent kid when he doesn't get his way. Apparently he has had no discipline at home and it's eviident at school. Well, okay, that's my opinion. On average I restrain this kid 3 times a day. It's been a couple years since I've had to use my CPI Restraint techniques, but let me tell ya, I'm glad I know what to do. This kid has spit, kicked, attempted to bite, and hit me so far and we have 10 days left. Apparently this kid broke his teacher's foot last year at pre-school because he got mad when he didn't get his way. Well, needless to say, that hasn't scared me off. I still restrain him when I absolutely have to do so, because he'll hurt others, himself, or me if I don't. I tell ya, I couldn't do this during the regular school year. I have had him 10 days and I have felt worn out. Just 10 short days left....I can do it!

In other news, my computer is in the shop, finally. I will be excited to get it back this week in working order. I am currently using my roommates computer, and am looking forward to having mine back. :-)

So, I guess that's about it for now. Have a terrific day!

Where I Second The Motion Of The EdWonk And Help Out A Google Bomb

EdWonk has thrown down the gauntlet to Secretary of Education Mags Spellings. Well said, sir. Perhaps you might also be interested in a similar visit to the OC....or at least John Elway Dodge on Arapahoe.

**Warning- this is not happy***

Looking around the room full of teachers today, I counted the number of teachers whose children are train wrecks. It struck me that the sooner I can get out of education the better because I go home so tired at night that I don’t care how much tv my kids watch as long as it’s something I’ve approved. I don’t care how messy their rooms are because I don’t have the energy to clean them or to get my kids to clean them. I don’t fight them on their bad eating habits because I’m too tired to care. And I’m filled with self loathing at the thought of all the work I won’t get done in spite of bringing it home with me. I’m too depressed and disappointed with myself to reflect much of anything positive to my children and I’m terrified they will internalize my failings as their own. My kids have a pretty high chance of becoming train wrecks if I don’t quit soon.

The Best Principal Ever dropped a bombshell yesterday: she’s leaving High School to go to Middle School. I’m irreconcilably sad she’s leaving but the decision has already been made and people are already in their new positions. I’m afraid Awesome Assistant Principal will leave, too and then the whole school really will go to hell. I wish I could quit this year. I wish I could leave before things get worse. Because no matter how positive or optimistic I am, things always get worse. This year has been absolutely awful and yet I know things will be worse next year. Things always get worse.

I refuse to work on the Vertical Team next year. I don’t like the working environment, I don’t agree with the way the work is organized and managed. I don’t like Super Bitch’s style of taking over and making decisions for us. I don’t like her inability to listen to the teachers and lack of regard for their opinions. Super Bitch is not a good leader, and she is not a good manager. She has brought frustration and disillusionment to an already thankless and demoralizing job. She is not a good coordinator for English.

I don’t want to teach 10 Honors next year. This year was such a categorical disaster that I don’t really want to even look at the mess I made. I don’t want to sift through the fuselage of things taught badly and try to recreate a curriculum that equals in rigor what Fabulous Teacher teaches. That will simply be an act of self flagellation. I know I did a terrible job and I know I’m not (a) Fabulous Teacher. I’m sad for the students who took my class this year. I’m sad for the crap they put up with from me. I wish I had been a better teacher. I wish I were a different person altogether. I suck.

I want to go on vacation for a week all by myself. I want a room with an ocean view, right next to the beach. I don’t want to get out of bed or shower for a week. I don’t want to do anything but watch the waves crash on the sand and be comforted by the tide’s unremitting sequence. I don’t want to think about how fat and unattractive I am. I don’t want to supervise my children playing on the beach and I don’t want to worry about Husband's mood. Or money. Or anything.

What I really want is to cease existing. But there's no real chance of that happening.

Take Your Blessings When You Can Get 'Em

Imagine four people singing along with a tape recording of Sweet Sweet Spirit. Four there-because-they're-needy, unsure of singing too loud grown up worshippers.

I attended the Sunday service at the hospital chapel today and am in the middle of this endeavor. The tape is playing the song in some completely unsingable key...

There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this pla-a-a-a-ace,
and I know that it's the Spirit of the Lo-o-ord.

There are sweet expressions on each fa-a-a----

At this moment through the stained glass up front of the chapel, I see the unmistakeable blue of a hospital gown and the familiar reflection of an IV tree. There's a patient with a slightly deranged look and sweet heavenly dove if he isn't making faces at us through the stained glass!

And you can't really laugh in church when there's only three other worshippers today, but oh! When I could laugh! It still gives me a giggle every time I walk by the chapel.

A-a-and for these blessings,
We lift our hearts in praise!
Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived
When w-e-e-e sha-a-a-all le-e-a-ave this pla-a-a-a-ce!

I've Discovered...

  • That although I have never shown animals in any sort of Future Farmer like event, sitting with my dad waiting for the medical team might be similar (Ok, dad, they're coming! Keep your blood pressure up! Show them how pretty your teeth are!).
  • Applying makeup to really tired eyes doesn't make them appear bright and happy. It makes them look like a tired French whore (as opposed to the wakeful ones).
  • When people tell you "Oh, this will just make you stronger!", they don't really take into account the idea that you might not want to be stronger. Perhaps you are strong enough.
  • A song called Knitta, Please. Go here. Download and listen.

Resume

I don’t really want to respond to Ms. Mother of ****. First of all, I don’t know what to say. What does she want me to say? I’m sorry? You’re right?
I get the feeling that she just wanted to share her feelings about my severe ineptitude – she doesn’t really want me to respond. I could attempt to defend myself against some of the transgressions she accused me of, but it doesn’t really matter at this point. She has said her peace – there really isn’t much to resolve or fix. It doesn’t matter that I did get her a list of ****’s assignments (which *****promptly lost), just not the moment she asked for it; I told her I needed a day or two to get the list together.
It doesn’t matter that everyone has to start somewhere and I couldn’t have just automatically taught the subtleties of books like Othello and Frankestein without having read them. Am I supposed to lie and pretend I had read them? How am I supposed to answer students’ questions other than “I’ll have to go back and look at that because I don’t know right off the top of my head”.
I did fail her daughter. I am not the “best” teacher who inspires, nor am I even a favorite of any other students either. I didn’t connect to ****– I don’t think I connected to anyone, actually, which is probably due to some personal defect on my part. I don’t want to be anyone’s pet teacher. I don’t want to be best friends with my students. I guess I feel like lashing out at her, and criticizing her parenting practices. Why have I never met or heard about ****’s father? What’s wrong with their relationship? Is he embarrassed that **** is such a freak? What about ****’s OCD (if that’s even what it is; I happen to think she has Asberger’s)? What did they do wrong to bring that out in their child? I feel like she is attacking me that personally. I feel like she’s going straight for my jugular.

About the only thing I can do is breathe in and out. In and Out. And try again, because

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
-----Dorothy Parker.

Ouch

Ms. Faculties--
****will not be in class for the English final exam. At this point she believes she has failed the class, that she must repeat the class next year, and that taking the final exam will in no way change either of the two previous statements.
Without question I am disappointed that ****s year in Honors English has turned out this way. Following a stellar year in Honors English 9, it is hard to believe we are talking about the same student. It's hard to believe we are talking about the same student who has never scored below a 91%-tile in any standardized reading or writing exam, including the PSAT. It's hard to believe this is the same student that can produce A and B work in Honors history.
What I'd like to understand better, is why ***** "shut down" in your English class. I know she was terribly turned off when you professed to not having read "Othello" before and to not having read "Frankenstein" since you were in high school. She was disoriented by the change from Ms. Excellent's lecture style to the "what do you all think" method that never resulted in an definitive answers. And I know she was extremely frustrated that it took so long to get tests and papers back that she never knew how she was doing.
Considering *****'s depression and other problems, I might have thought she was exaggerating, but you learn quite a bit from other parents while you sit in the halls waiting for conferences and I heard the same complaints from those parents.
***** will suffer the consequences for how she handled the problems in this classroom. She will be repeating Honors English 10 as a direct result of her inability to deal with the teacher and the environment. That's her lesson to learn the hard way.
Unfortunately, though, I think much of what ***** has said about your teaching and your organizational skills is true. When you couldn't produce a list of *****'s assignments for me first semester and told me *****should have been writing them down, I was amazed. Of course she should have been writing them down, but why couldn't you produce the list? How is it that you did not know what was assigned, when it was due, and who had turned it in and what grade they received? I have spent a year telling ***** to just "play the game." Telling her that you don't always get "good" teachers or teachers you "like" and that you have to learn to work with what you have and adapt. You're very likeable and seem to recognize that **** has some knowledge, but I think both you and ****failed to adapt. I think you had an obligation to ****as a teacher to meet her needs in education. She is probably one of the best-read students in the 10th grade and you had a subject that could have made her come alive. I am so disappointed that she wasn't anything special--anything worth saving.
In ****'s presence, I must support you as her teacher. As bad as her self-esteem is, I cannot for an instant let her think that her failure had anything to do with you; however, I think you should know that I think you both failed.
Sincerely,
Mother of *****

Oh those pencils. . .

This week I took a moment to ponder the importance of pencils in my daily life. It is amazing how much of my time is devoted to discussing the quality, color, effectiveness and size of pencils. Here are just a few examples of pencil talk at work:

“Ms. Teacher, I don’t have a pencil” Where do they always disappear to?

“Ms. Teacher, I can’t find a pink colored pencil.” There are none at her table, but 5 at another.

“Ms. Teacher my pencil only sharpens down one side.” Why is that and how on earth do you save the pencil once it’s so mangled?

“Look, the whole middle part just came out of my pencil. Ms. Teacher, can I write with it like this? Pleeeeeease.” I’m not as annoyed when this happens with colored pencils, but you wouldn’t believe the mess when regular pencils decide to up and separate.

“Crash, clickity, clackity, tip, tip, tap. ” Pencil bin being knocked over and offering up its contents to the table, floor and children’s laps in the middle of my lesson. Luckily, since changing pencil bin styles, this only happens every few months.

I had the kids clean out their cubbies on Wednesday. 15 beautiful long pencils were found. Why must they try and keep them in their cubbies? They just sit there, forgotten, until we clean them out and then the kids look around all sheepishly. Silly, silly children.

blessed

I hope and pray you have a terrific family like I do. I tell ya, I went to "Ruby" Day today, and had a great time! You're thinking, what's Ruby Day? Ruby was a wonderful lady who is in heaven now, but while she was on Earth, she changed lives. Anyway, today we had a family reunion in rememberance of Ruby. It was cool. Forget the fact I'm not technically related to Ruby, but some of my Aunts and Uncles are, so I was invited to go. I tell ya, it was awesome. We don't have family stuff like today very often anymore. Since my Grandmother's have passed on, we don't all get together much. So, today was a kick! I saw people today I haven't seen in 8 years...what a kick! Everyone is so grown up. It was, for me, the first time I felt truly "adult" at a reunion. However, with that being said, what did I do all day? I played with the kids! That's what I always do. That's what I've always done. When I was younger, the adults loved it because it kept the kids busy. Today I just did it because I wanted to. And, it showed. At one point we had an egg toss contest and I tried to be a contestant in the adults category, and the adults told me they wanted me with the kids. :-) Everyone got a kick out of it when I said, "Well, I'm a 33 year old kid!" The Bible says we're to have a child-like heart...I think I've got that one down! hehehe

I must admit, there was one thing that gripped me though. I think everyone has one part of the family that perplexes you, and well, it's true for me at least. While I'm not directly related to this family, there are two gals about 2 years younger than me, and we grew up together, and well, they've turned into these models. I am not kiddin', these gals could really get in the beauty contest business and win. So, after the kids had all left, I was sitting with these two gals, and well, I don't know, I felt outta place. I wasn't, mind you, noone at the table was any better than anyone else, the only difference I think was that I'm the only single one left. I think that was a lot of it too. But it sort of gripped me. I'm not ugly, but sitting by these two gals, I felt intimated. Which, isnt me at all. Very odd. I think I shall be pondering that one for days. Ms. H is right, body image is a weird and perplexing mind game.

After the reunion, I went to my friend Dave's surprise party. Dave turned 40 today, and we surprised him. It was really neat. I find it absolutely cool how close you can get to people who you're not related to, and feel as if you are. I totally feel a part of Dave's family. His wife is a jewel, and so are their kids. Just a neat day...really cool.

So, tomorrow I have a picnic and lesson planning to do. It feels odd to think I have to teach on Monday. Then again, it's kinda neat too. It will be good to be back in a daily routine again. :-) I am a creature of habit, and the routine will do me some good.

Have a great day!

Take Care of you!

nothing

So, you ever sit down and write a whole blog and then delete the whole thing?

I just did.

In a nutshell...

I have nothing to share tonight...

Life is good.

Sleep is a good thing.

Later!

Computers....

Computers are great, when they work! Yeah, um, I have had technical difficulties for about a week now and my computer needs to have some work done. It's amazing how much we take for granted until it no longer works. Seriously, I miss my computer, however, this will work...I hope!

So today I was a rebel child, I skipped my morning workshop. Yep, I debated, sleep or sit and listen to someone talk. Now granted, I lost about $60 by sleeping in, but it sure felt good! hehehe I did go to the afternoon one I was signed up for, so I wasn't all bad. And, I went for a swim too. See, I'm not a complete bum! hehehe

Mrs. H came to see me yesterday and we had a blast. You know, it's amazing, friends can come and make ya laugh so hard pop runs outta your nose, and life seems just a bit more spiffy! It was time well spent. Very cool.

So, tomorrow I need to finish getting my room ready for school on Monday. It feels odd to be in a different building for this year, and it makes me appreciate my regular school. However, my principal for the summer is really cool. I mean, low key, really nice and supportive, I am pumped. For about 6 years I was under a principal who really wasn't an instructional leader. Well, he retired a year ago, and it's been fascinating to be under real leaders. I feel as if I'm learning a lot. I know just yesterday as we prepared for summer, I liked Mr. R. This is gonna be a good summer session...I can feel it.

Well, my bed is calling my name. I'm trying not to stay up too late. Monday is gonna hurt enough as it is. :-) Later!

The cold hard truth

Sorry to leave you in the lurch for so long. Here is how my report worked out:

"Sneaky needs to spend the summer focusing on his reading comprehension. It is imperative that an adult sit with him while he reads. This person should ask him to summarize each paragraph, in his own words, after it is read. He has a tendency to mumble through words he doesn’t understand and quite often these overlooked words change the meaning of the passage."

It recetnly came to my attention that they have been helping him read at home by handing him a book and setting a 20 minute timer, so I just went for it. I figured, “what do I care? Soon I’ll be rid of them forever.” I hope the kid gets some help.

A most sinister confession

By this time each year, I have jotted down a list of students who have bugged me all year long. This year is no different, but I guess the good part is that my list gets shorter every year. Or maybe that's bad because I learn to put up with more shit from students and parents each year.

Every year my grading standard become rather fluid around this time, too. Is it wrong to merely ballpark a kid's grade without really reading his work? Does it matter if I don't grade every damn assignment they turned in? Should I be assigning this much crap anyway? Does it really make a difference to anyone?

Tomorrow's my last day of real teaching - next week we have semester exams . I think I can make it all the way through the day. Or at least til lunch - it's pizza day.

La la la I don't care anymore.