Archive for October 2010

Teaching Is Stressing Me Out

October 25, 2010

I love teaching, I even love working with the kids others deem “unteachable”, but lately I am not feeling it.  It is a difficult job, it’s super stressful and there are no breaks. And let me tell you, I mean no. breaks.  I teach gym, art, music (which I haven’t done yet), social studies, science, math, english, social skills, and I have to eat lunch with them.

I know much of the reason I am taking everything so personally is that I am pregnant and I am moody, but I just feel so overwhelmed on days like today.

Now, to fully explain, let me say I do have a classroom aide to help out with my day.  He is a fully certified teacher, who has taught special education for the last 30 years, was a principal at one point, and he taught at a local university molding the “teachers of tomorrow.”   Sounds like an awesome aide to have right?  Well, how many of you remember education 30 years ago?  I wasn’t there for it, but my studies and time with this man tell me life was very different.

His first instinct is to yell, embarrass children, and remind them they are at his mercy and will do as he says or he will make them pay for it.

None of these children are children who need this behavior from an adult, most of these kids get screamed at on a regular basis and it solves nothing.  It is far more effective to speak in an even tone, be respectful, and deal with the problem straight on.  This seems to off set what the kids are expecting and settles the situation down.

So, today, 3 of my boys were going to gym with my aide Mr. ___ and lined up pretty nicely for 14 and 15 year olds.  As they got out into the hallway Mr. ___ stops the line to tell them they what they will not be doing in gym and that they will “respect” what he tells them to do.  He proceeds to ask them, in the hallway, wasting their precious gym time, what they plan to do in gym class. So one boy says that he wants to get on of the kick balls and kick it at the wall for a while.

Now, we do generally have a rule about kicking balls in gym, which granted sounds strange, but we tried kick ball and soccer and neither went well.  However, today, out loud in front of everyone including Mr. ___ I said, that if the ball never once started as a basketball, was only used to kick at the wall at an appropriate height, and was not once kicked at other people that it would be okay to try out, seeing as how they are currently going to gym in small groups and only each get about 15 minutes.

So, when the boy said this was what he wanted to do, Mr. ___ told him that he was not allowing this and that if he didn’t listen to him he would have no gym time.  Of course, the boy started to argue and say that I told him it was okay began to argue and get loud about the situation.

Now, if I were the adult in the situation, I would instead of standing there being yelled at and pushing a ridiculous situation I would have said, okay, I didn’t hear Mrs. M say that, let’s go check.  Quick easy consequences if they are lying and if not back on the road to gym problems solved the world once again righted for all.

Is that what happened?  Nope!

Instead Mr. ___ stands in the hall and begins to remind the boys that he is in charge, he said no, and he does not care and that because they are being so awful in the hallway no one is having gym. Now, the only reason they are even in the hallway having this conversation is because he stopped everyone to make sure they knew who the boss was, the only reason they are standing there arguing at all is because instead of allowing for the idea that he could possibly be wrong, he has make sure they know and understand how wrong they are.

Thus began World War III at approximately 11:05 this morning.  The rest of the day was a pissing contest.  What gets me is that even after the boys had left for the day Mr. ___ still could not even discuss the idea that he played any part in this situation.

This is the man who is supposed to take over for me when I am out in January.  I am just at a loss for how this would even begin to be a good idea other than a practice in being grateful that I am their Somehow, I need to just find a way to, have this baby the same way the Asians in the rice patties do.  Pop a squat, have the baby, strap it to my back in keep on working.






Next time, I am not answering questions

October 15, 2010

The last few days have been nutty.  On Wednesday at work one of my students punched me in the ribs (he lost his pen and freaked out and I was in the way).  At first it didn’t really hurt, and then, it did.  So, of course, being pregnant and easily worried, I called my doctor’s office to just make sure everything would be fine.

The call itself went fine, I think the doctor thought I was kidding.  They of course told me to come in so they could do some observations and said not to drive myself.  So finding someone at my new job to drive me that I know well enough to ask to drive me 30 minutes away was kinda hard.  In the end, I did find someone and I was glad that she was so nice.

We got to the doctor’s office and sat for a while until the called me back only to say they were sending me over to labor and delivery.

The poor lady who came with me then of course felt obligated to stay until my husband came with the kids.  Needless to say this very kind lady ended up with more information about me (my birthday, my address, my life story), my sex life (no I had not had sex in the last 24 hours, no I was not being forced to have sex against my will or being hurt physically/emotionally), and my child birthing history (yes, I have 2 children, vaginally delivered, yes this was indeed my 4th pregnancy, no I wasn’t still hiding #4 in the closet or anything)  than she could possibly want to know, even if I am the new lady on campus, see I bet you didn’t really wanna know all that either.

So in the hospital they hooked me up to monitors, checked my blood pressure, and the doctor came in all roughly around the same time.  It was crazy and overwhelming and of course he starts in with a new round of questions and so I say things I don’t want to say, that make him give me this look of worry and then say “well we just need to run a few additional tests, so hunker down for a while.”  At this point my husband still hasn’t left home and I am just sitting there wishing that had remembered to wear nicer underwear today.

Trying to end the obligation and let this poor woman go home I tell her my husband is sure to be here soon and that she can go home, no big deal.  I promise. She, being the uber nice lady she is, stayed strong and continued to wait.

When my husband does come (about 2 hours in), I almost forgot to introduce them.  It was a weird situation.

As it turns out, this was a very long night of the” hurry up wait ” game and they made me stay overnight and it was this whole ordeal. As life works out, things went pretty well, just some crummy food, a lot of being woken up, and a few times pushing on my bruised ribs to make sure they felt better.  The baby is doing well, he is quite active, and seems to be happy in his little cocoon.

Only 74 days left.  Hopefully nothing else exciting happening in that time, other than my kitchen actually being finished.

Feeling Like A Bad Parent

October 12, 2010

As a teacher it is all to common to see kids and wonder where things went wrong and generally assume that a tough home life has something to do with it.  I know this, I feel bad about it, and yet it happens a lot, especially working as a special education teacher in a private-therapeutic day school for children who are Emotionally Disabled.

Well, I swear with the way my son is going he is not long for the world of regular schools.

So far this year, he has punched another boy in the stomach, he has stolen someone else’s snacks, and today he was choking another student.  I don’t understand… we have had many conversations about hands not being for hitting/hurting others, we have talked about other people’s belongings being their own and not taking things, we have talked about not always acting on what we are thinking.  He has been punished by losing items he loves, losing privileges, losing treats, losing free time, adding in chores, making him work off the price of replacing stolen goods, apologizing always, and I am really not clear on what else to do.