The Mystery Files of Mrs. M.’s Class

Posted November 23, 2010 by jennieology
Categories: Work

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Today at work was a fabulous day!  The boys were fantastic!  There are 3 major reasons for that:

1. One of my students who has chosen to go off his meds was absent.

2. One of my students whom I love dearly, but is a giant pain in the butt recently was suspended

3. We had a big Thanksgiving feast where you could eat all you wanted and the boys are a huge fan of that and did not want to lose out.

So at the end of the day the boy who was suspended comes in to pick up his stuff.  I bring down his library books, his homework, his point sheet, and he mentions I forgot his backpack and pencil box, so I said okay went to get them. I only ended up remembering the backpack, but he said it was okay he had a bunch of pencils at home.  I thought nothing of it, as he left, I just mentioned that no one knew he was suspended and that on Monday if he did not bring it up I wouldn’t and we could just move on.  He said “okay” and I told him I would see him on Monday.

About 20 minutes later when the bell rings and all the kids are leaving and we are waiting on the two last buses, the principal comes up and say that she got a call from this student’s home school and they wanted to know more about his impending return on Monday.  She was thrown and just said she had no idea. They told her the mom called and said that he has been doing so well that he is returning.  Of course, our principal mentioned that he had been suspended today and said that she did not think this was a good plan.

In mentioning it to me, she thought maybe they messed up and so we would leave it until next week.  But, of course, the secretary comes out and says that there is a parent on the phone and am I available.  So i go and it is this boy’s mom and she says that I didn’t give him all of his things, he needs everything.  I mention that  I just got the essentials for the long weekend and that he can have whatever he needs of his stuff, and she said “no, I mean all of his stuff, he will not be returning to school there on Monday.”

The world stopped spinning for a second.  This is a parent who has been amazing, who has stated multiple times that she thinks her son needed to earn his way back to his homeschool and who has agreed that he was not ready.  None of this made any sense.

So, I said that I was very sorry to hear this and would she like to talk?  We talk multiple times a week and have had a great relationship.  She very curtly said “No” and hung up.

I have been replaying this whole thing in my head over and over and it is crazy because I should just be thanking God for one less headache and fight every day, but I can not shake the sense that something bad is going to happen and I really like this kid and his family and would hate to see anything happen.

Revoking an IEP is as simple as a signature, but it means so much more than that.  If he doesn’t have this he can be suspended as much as the school likes for anything, he can be up for expulsion, he can get himself in a world of trouble.

I just don’t know why this whole situation is bothering me so much, but it is consuming me.



Good News

Posted November 17, 2010 by jennieology
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Here is the newest and latest update:

Okay, just last night I went to the doctor and she said the blood work came back all great!  So that is a really good thing.

They did say the the baby continues to measure asymmetrically and so they are having me come in 2 times a week now for ultrasounds and fetal monitoring and appointments.

Beyond that I have also been scheduled for an appointment with a Maternal-Fetal medicine office and they are going to do a Targeted Ultrasound so that they can get more specific measurements of everything on the baby and where the placenta is and why it may be causing the baby to have restricted growth.

The only thing we seem to have sure word on is that we should be expecting him to come early.

So overal,l this is good and the caution is just to make sure that they pay as much attention as they can to make sure he at  least continues to grow even if not evenly.  I have a feeling when he doesn’t show enough growth then they will want to deliver him.

A Small Update

Posted November 15, 2010 by jennieology
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An update, without much information yet.

The doctor’s office called today and I thought it was going to be about the blood test results, however, the nurse very nervously said they don’t have those results yet, but that the doctor has decided she would like me to come in 2 times a week for ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and visit.

I know she is being cautious, I just wish I knew more.  2 times a week is so crazy sounding to say out loud, especially when once every 2 weeks is the norm right now.

I am not a person of organized religion, I have faith in a higher power, and I am not often one to ask for prayers, but if you are the type to pray, please send up good thoughts for us and this new little one.


More tomorrow …

Let’s All Hurry Up and Wait Together

Posted November 9, 2010 by jennieology
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This pregnancy baffles me.

My blood pressure has been through the roof, I have been having contractions on and off,  and just feel pretty run down.

I am resting a great deal, I am eating well, I am taking vitamins, I am now taking blood pressure medicine, I have been careful but not overly careful, and last week I was moved to weekly appointments  and non-stress tests, and ultrasounds every few weeks.

While I was not excited about weekly visits or non-stress tests (monitoring the baby’s heart rate and checking for contractions for a half hour) I was quite excited about this first ultrasound.  We haven’t had a glimpse of this little guy since 19 weeks and I couldn’t wait to see how he was growing and doing in there.

My appointment started out well, during the non-stress test there were no contractions this week, the baby’s heart rate was fantastic.  I went to the ultrasound and the lady was really nice, not overly chatty, and in the end she printed a few pictures of the babies face and showed me that his “junk” was all there and that he is indeed a boy, and sent me on my way.

I went and left a urine sample (sorry for the TMI) and got weighed and lost 2 lbs.  All I can say to that is, Woohoo!!! I sit down in the exam room and the nurse takes my blood pressure and it is 112/88 and things seem to be on the up swing here.

The doctor comes in and we are chatting about my blood pressure improvement, exchanging jokes and laughing.  I was two seconds from walking out the door a happy and relaxed woman for the first time in weeks.

Then the nurse came and ruined it all.  She had a report from the ultrasound tech. and she said “she wanted to make sure you looked at this.”

Things like that should be said outside the room, dammit!

The doctor looked at it and replied to the nurse well, make sure she has another ultrasound scheduled soon and schedule a torch test. At this point all I can think of is the Monty Python sketch about witch hunting.

She then turns to me and say “it seems the baby’s head is larger than his body and I since we don’t really know why we are just gonna look into it before we worry about it.”   Which is reassuring for about 10 minutes or so (pretty much just long enough for me to head over to the lab).  I leave the office to go for my now, mostly mysterious, Torch test and while I am sitting there I realize, wait a minute, I shouldn’t worry or stress about this, but hmmm, it does seem concerning come to think of it.

The baby’s head is bigger than it should be and his body is smaller.  So I figure I will call Dan, he can quickly look this up, ease my worries, and this will be fine.

Wrong, my phone does not work there, because AT&T sucks balls here, so now I am sitting in a waiting room thinking, and that is Dangerous folks.  Sit a pregnant lady alone in a waiting room to worry and make up her own solutions and you get some pretty crazy stuff.

Now, the Torch test is a blood test looking for infections that could be the root cause of this, and after they draw 8 (yup, I said 8) vials of blood I am free to go home and worry some more there. And be grilled as to the exact wording of everything said, because my memory is shitty and I can really only pick out the important phrases and not exact wording.

Let me just say – searching the internet has not been my friend.

So now, I will hurry up and wait, to find out the deal and hope that everything will be fine.


Have I ever mentioned I suck at waiting?

Teaching Is Stressing Me Out

Posted October 25, 2010 by jennieology
Categories: Work

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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

Posted October 15, 2010 by jennieology
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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

Posted October 12, 2010 by jennieology
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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.