Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Good, the Bad, no Ugly

Good:

In my certification program, we are subject to surprise visits with observation and written performance reviews. They are really semi-surprise, because we know one will happen within a certain amount of days. We are reviewed by our principals, our program supervisor, and any district high administrator who cares to do so. Today my program supervisor came in while I was teaching 5th grade reading and language arts. The kids were awesome. They are fairly easy anyway, but I couldn't believe how angelic they were. There are four possible scores in every area of professional expertise, with most falling in the middle: proficient or below expectations. It's expected that an intern will receive mostly proficient scores with a couple of below expectations in areas they need to work on. All proficient is a good review. Well, I had several exceeds expectations along with a nice row of proficients. She told me I was doing a great job, especially considering it's only September, and that I stood out amongst her group of subordinates. I'm a little floored and very happy. It kind of made my week.

Esperanza self-managed her behavioral issues today. She came up to me during class and asked if she could have a time out so that she could write in her journal and talk to another teacher (I'll call her Mrs. Future Awesome Principal, or Mrs. F for short). I gathered up her things, told her what assignment I needed her to complete, gave her the journal, and escorted her to Mrs. F's classroom. Mrs. F was very receptive and supportive. While I don't like it that Esperanza is missing instructional time, it's definitely preferable to her sobbing in fetal position on the floor or harming herself.

Bad:

I don't want to call him anything stupid like Psychotic Child or whatever, so I'll refer to him as Isaiah. Isaiah was having a very hard time today. He is in constant motion; twitching, facial tics, gesturing, and flailing. He's muttering, too. He has a very exaggerated startle response. He has hit a couple of children, though it's the result of a flailing limb rather than any malicious intent and so far no one has been harmed at all. I have tried talking quietly to him to calm him, but it's really not working. He can't control the actions. I have been having him walk at my side between classes or to the cafeteria. I've also been approaching his other teachers before he gets to class to warn them and make sure he is seated near them and that no other students are within arm's length. All the teachers are being very caring and conscientious and I'm happy to say no one is treating him as if this is willful misbehavior (however frustrating it may be to us all). But I am still very worried.

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