Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Asked For This

I wanted to teach special education.
I didn't want to team teach - I wanted my own classroom with kids who were my responsibility.
I wanted to build culture and relationships and I wanted them to be my babies.
I didn't know it would mean stabbings would go unpunished.
I didn't know I would be SO over ratio that I don't have workbooks for everyone.
I didn't know that my room would be the 'throw away' room - where people send their old curriculum and rowdy kids.
The end of the day today brought overturned desks and violence.
The day starts off well then slowly goes down hill, first when the enrichment teacher comes in, then right after recess. then the extra 50 minutes of the day when my kids are supposed to do worksheets above their level with only one of me and way too many of them.
By the end we are all angry....them at each other and me at the amount of instructional time spent yelling over kids and sometimes, on days like today, I'm angry at them for throwing away so much potential...
Kids refuse to work.
Kids repeatidly choose to be disrespectful.
There is no consequence other than my call home and loss of classroom privledges.
I love them and care if they succeed.
How do I go in my room and convey that tomorrow?


Aimless Amy said...

Maybe a place to start would be to focus on what building community and family looks like?

It would be really interesting to find out what your students think love looks like. I know this sounds bogus. If you start where they're at and try to move them towards what a good community in your classroom looks like I think you'll be able to get to the curriculum later.

Don't worry about a week's worth of curriculum not being covered. Work on relationships, otherwise you'll be fighting through the entire time.

That's the best thing I can think of now.

You're amazing. In time, you'll get your system down and gain your footing.

Ms. H said...

I read this last night and have been thinking about it all day, trying to figure out what I could tell you that would possibly help...

Don't discount the fact that you love your students. That love makes all the hard work you have to do bearable.

Take care of yourself, too. Have fun sometimes, and do what you can to stay healthy.

You will be okay. You are in a totally unfair situation -- getting no discipline support from your administration. It's horrible and you can't change it on your own. However, you will still make a difference in your students' lives. It may not be what you imagined before you started teaching, but I'm willing to bet that in some ways it will be even richer.

Please, please email me if you want to chat or want suggestions on anything! I'm not a special ed teacher and didn't come into teaching via an "alternative" route, but I've got some decent experience motivating reluctant/struggling/aliterate readers that could be helpful.