Monday, September 11, 2006

I already called in sick

I called in sick for tomorrow at 4:30pm, while I was signing out for the day. Here, I will number my paper for your ease of reading:

1. My partner teacher person was out at yet another inservice. Please stop training us and let us use the training and, y'know, teach our classes.

2. Another teacher was also out at an inservice. It was a bilingual class, which usually means they don't call a sub. This means that the one teacher who could be assisting me was watching this class instead.

3. The principal was out at an inservice.

4. So was the instructional coordinator.

5. Guess where our secretary was! You got it! Inservice! Gold star for you!

6. Everyone who wasn't at an inservice? They were sick. Including myself. I would have called in today, but, you know, with the inservices and all. Students, too. We had what seemed like half the students complaining about headaches and stomachaches. One child was vomiting in the bathroom. I sent her down to the nurse, because when I went into the restroom to check on her, she was indeed hurling into the toilet. So the vomiting child was quickly sent back to my classroom. Why? Get ready for it.

7. The nurse was at an inservice. I shit you not.

8. Esperanza is not okay after all. She, completely without any visible provocation, burst into tears mid-class. She crawled into a corner, curled up, and sobbed. She was unable to quit or to speak or anything. Eventually, I just let her stay there and cry. Instead of sending her to ancillary, I kept her with me and gave up my planning period. After about a half hour, she started writing me notes saying she doesn't know what is wrong with her, only that she feels very sad all the time and that her heart and her chest hurt badly. She and I exchanged notes back and forth for awhile, until I asked if I could take her with me to talk to the principal, who I didn't know was at an inservice. I had previously requested support over the intercom, but they didn't send anyone. We ended up having a conference with one of the senior teachers. Esperanza says she is self-injuring at home and thinks that she is crazy. We tried to help her think of some strategies to deal with her emotions. When the principal got back, after school, I had a conference with her. The outcome is that I am to refer the child for family support, but the whole process takes about two months. In the meanwhile, we are trying to get her mother to put her under psychiatric evaluation, which is a three day process. I hope she agrees. This is beyond my capabilities.

9. That new child I got? The one who spit and brought a knife to school? I found out today that he is psychotic, paranoid, possibly schizophrenic. He was in an inpatient treatment facility. His parents tell people that he was treated and released, but the truth is that they took him out before he could be treated with any success. They refuse to medicate him. He has stabbed other children. He hears voices and holds conversations with these voices at school, during class. It's heartbreaking (as well as alarming) because this child is trying very, very hard to behave well and do good work. He is trying to hide his twitching and the stuff with the voices. He is extremely eager to please and get along. But he is seriously troubled and, frankly, I am afraid something is going to trigger him to snap. Obviously a nine or ten year old child (or anyone, really) is unable to control psychosis. He wants to be a good student, a good child. I can see him trying. But his family is interfering with him getting the help he needs. I don't know what's going to happen. The school administration is scrambling to try and get him help. But, in the meanwhile, what the fuck do I do? This is way beyond my area of expertise, to say the least. Does one of my kids (or me) have to get stabbed? Will people blame the school (blame me) if something does happen?

10. My voice fucking broke in the middle of reading class.


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