Thursday, September 28, 2006

I just got home

It's 9:30. That would be 9:30pm. And I just got home. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

I am so tired that it took me like five tries just to type in the URL so I could update this thing. So I'll be brief. Today was a nightmare hell day. We have a lot of teachers out sick. Our school has no money, so we cover each other's classes a lot when people are out. We have been having a writing consultant come in to help us get the writing under control (4th graders write a composition as part of their standardized testing), only she has changed her days she is coming without notifying us and on top of that, she's been late. So that's a headache. We had a terrible day as far as discipline goes, and I am not picky about that. I actually yelled at my students, which I feel terrible for. I don't DO that. Only, well, I did. After I'd calmed down, I told them that some of the choices they were making were not wise decisions and that today I felt like the kind of teacher I hated. That seemed to get to them a little.

She isn't in my class, but I work with a little girl who I am having a lot of trouble with. Her name is Keisha and she is the child who I mentioned in a previous entry, whose mother spanked her at school. Whenever I have to talk to her about doing her work or about her behavior, she shuts down. She stares straight ahead, won't make eye contact, and won't react or answer me in any way. I think that at home when she's in trouble, she gets sort of browbeaten. I've seen parents do that thing to children where they scream questions at them and, no matter what answer the child gives, they get in more trouble. So the safest thing to do is to say nothing and to not even move. Because anything you do is seen as disrespectful or bad. I take extra care to state my expectations clearly with her and be gentle, but firm. I can't seem to get through to her though. I'm not sure what to do. Keisha is going to fail this year if she continues as she is.

A girl got suspended today. She hit another girl and threw stuff around the room. One of my team teacher's students. She sees her grandmother and mother fight physically at home. So, yeah.

Isaiah seems to have bonded with me. I am both pleased and cautious. He asks me every day if I'll be at school tomorrow. I smile and tell him that unless I get sick, of course I will be there. He has quit startling when I touch his arm or shoulder to get his attention, and he is actively seeking my approval. He is really eager to answer questions and was astonished and happy today when I used his name in a sentence on the overhead. I really, really like this child. But I'm also a little frightened of him. I am not huge on medication, but I wish his parents would give him his. He so desperately needs it. He doesn't want to twitch and make faces or hurt people or spit.

Tomorrow I have the, um, privilege of doing home visits. My school takes the position that if we can't reach a parent or a parent is uncooperative, we go to their house and talk to them in person. So I will be going during school hours with one of my team teachers. It should be... interesting. My friend said it sounded scary. I told her that these folks would probably be afraid of my relatives, so it all works out. We'll see what happens.

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