Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm listening...

Someone, Something, is trying to get my attention...

Wild Child, the boy who responds only to me, who bites, melts down, and cannot seem to stay in school for an entire week, is also the same child who brought me roses.

I collect Sonic Tot Toys, and last week he brought me one.

The one he brought me was not clean like this one. It was grubby and stained, like Wild Child. I brought it home and ran it through the wash. Good as new. It sits on my desk, not among the others I have lined up on the bookshelf.

Yesterday I was walking through the parking lot of the grocery store and out of the corner of my eye I saw I was about to be intercepted. I saw a boy, running as fast as he could, arms flying and feet pounding the pavement. It was Wild Child. He was all smiles, gave me a huge hug and said he would see me on Monday. Off he ran to mom, calling "Mom, it's my teacher! See mom, it's my teacher."

I'm listening...

Friday, September 17, 2010

The endless week...

The fun from earlier in the week continued! Wild-Child, who bit a student, threw furniture in ISS, and had to be picked up from school by mom, actually had a good day yesterday. But today, he never made it to my classroom. He started a fight and mom was called. 

Freckles ( another of my 8 challenges) tried to argue with me all day yesterday. We called mom several times over his behavior and he got two write ups. 

This morning I discovered my three baskets with pencils, pencil sharpeners, and erasers were all empty. Parts of the sharpeners were found, with the blades taken out of them. Nice...

Then there is Blue Eyes. His 5th grade teacher told me he'd be in jail in just a few years. How's that for believing in the future?! Don't tell me that kind of crap when I come to you for advice about a child. Oh well... Blue Eyes responds to me. He wants to please me. He has had several good days. Then today, as he was leaving campus to walk home, he got in a fight. *sigh*

Last thing... I have Shortstuff's mom's number on speed dial. I think she is getting tired of hearing from me. He got kicked out of reading class today. I had to ask him to leave my English class for a short time too because as I was teaching he was tapping and refused to stop.

One of my readers commented that not much teaching can be going on. He could be right, but thankfully, I have really good classes (minus the troublemakers) and we are getting things done. The troublemakers spend  a lot of time in the hall and office. I spend every plan time on the phone or filling out discipline reports. So, at home I grade and spend a lot of time in the classroom on the weekend trying to get things done. I dream at night of solutions to these challenges. But I am lost...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This week...

This week...

1. I have called parents about their kids' behavior issues 12 times.

2. I have written 5 discipline forms.

3. I have had two students go to ISS (in school suspension).

4. We had a bomb threat and the police came.

5. Both boy's bathrooms were shut down because of vandalism.

6. One boy told me that telling another boy "I'm going to kick your cross-eyed a$$" was acceptable behavior.

7. Helped chase down a student who was melting down, called mom (one of those 12 calls), and glory be, she came and got him.

8. A student of mine who was in ISS, threw desks and made threats to the ISS teacher, was returned to my classroom. I was not told about the incident until after the kid was removed from the school because of behavior today.

9. It is only Wednesday...

10. I still cannot use my Smart-Slate.

11. **added later***  Forgot ~ all this with temps in the 90's and spotty AC. Yippy!

But, there is a bright side ~ today was fried chicken Wednesday in the cafeteria. So, it's all good.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear IT

I loved today's Smart Slate training. Lacey, the rep and trainer, was sweet and very good at her job. She did redirect me a few times when I got ahead of her training, but those cool marker pens that drew stars and flowers were awesome!

I was thrilled that as soon as I walked into the training you placed a Smart Slate in my hot little hands and it even had my name on it. You even assured us that the software was loaded at our site and we were good to go as soon as we got back. 

So, IT, I'm wondering if your definition of software is different from mine. I know I am a lowly teacher, but I thought software might actually mean we could use this freaking awesome toy. And that part about it being loaded at out site, well, maybe I misunderstood that too. There is nothing on my computer that supports this new technology. 

Bubble ~ burst...


Back to the chalk board in room 608

Friday, September 3, 2010

The unexpected

Yes, that is a child under her desk. 
I've wanted to blog about this new school year, my kids, the adjustment from self-contained to departmentalized, but I just haven't been able to get myself motivated to write. I have a lot of challenging kids, again. I do not have any on IEPs, that is good, but several of my kids are very low. None of that is a problem. It is the behavior challenges I have been tossed. I know I am good with these difficult, yet so lovable kids, but I am tired. 
 Talking, always talking.
The positive thing is that I get a break from those darlings when they rotate to their other classes. I also get to see how much easier it is to deal with my other four classes. Our homeroom classes rotate as a group so my kids stay together and the other teachers get to see what I have to deal with for 30 minutes in the morning, at lunch, and for 105 minutes in the afternoon. At first they sent me notes, or flat out asked me to deal with the troublemakers. I finally let them know that when they have my class, those kids are theirs and they have to deal with the behavior.
This sweet boy cannot, will not ever stop talking. I do not want him in the hall.
Looking back over last year I think I tried to take too much of the responsibility for my challenging students. This year I am not. I am calling parents every day. I am sending notes and writing emails. One parent is about tired of me, but I will not give up on that kid and I want them involved.
 So, yesterday, when I felt spent, at the end of my rope, feeling like a true failure because I cannot teach the way I would like to, because I have to adjust for behavior, and low motivation, I get this gift. The roses are old, maybe two weeks. They came unwrapped, dry, not cold from a fridge or dripping water. More like they were fished out of the trash. There are just five. Roses don't come in bunches of five. He said "These are for you." He smiled and got to his seat, and started on his spelling. I wanted to cry...