Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boys, Recess, Anxiety

While I am organizing my ponderings on boys and school, I will share a few quick tidbits that are on my mind.

I have always been more tuned into how boys do in school than how girls do in school.  I am well read on the issues girls have in schools and have done my part in sharing awarenesses and modeling current best practice for girls in school.  My nieces are exemplary students and I do believe they have found success in their learning in part due to my sister's strong advocacy for them and her knowledge base of girls in school issues as well as he modeling of and involvement in many feminist issues.  

I make it no secret I am more comfortable in a room of EBD boys than in a room of girls.  I get boys.  I advocate for boys.  They are losing ground in school. I watched Foodie struggle in school as he got older and I watch Movie Man and Superman struggle every day with what school has turned into.  I want to use my remote and press pause.  Can we just stop and think this stuff through?

Recess?  Although my boys are not athletic, they need recess.  They need it to socialize as boys do.  They need it to blow the stink off.  They need it for relief from what we expect of them in class.  They need it to regroup.  Superman doesn't socialize at recess.  He just wanders and watches.  He needs recess to be alone in his thoughts.  His Autism necessitates some down time, some noncommunication time.   Movie Man needs recess to socialize and cut up.  EBD kids need recess to blow, to run, jump, slam against playground balls and each other.  You will hear more from me regarding recess as I gather more evidence pro and con.  I think this is a very pressing  and relevant issue and I intend to set the world straight on this matter.

Poor Superman has had three days of relentless anxiety about the field trip he is taking today. It is an all day field trip and since his sense of time is a bit skewed he was concerned that he would be homesick. I kept reassuring him with validating neutral comments.  But late last night it occurred to me that what he means when he says he will be homesick, is that he will miss his routine and all things familiar... smells, activities, his desk, the rooms that ground him, the hallways that lead him to known places.  

I am afraid I may not have handled this correctly.  I packed him up and sent him off to the field trip.  I did put a cupcake in his lunch for dessert... hope that helps....oh geez, now I am teaching him to find comfort in fattening junk food.  

My anxiety is reaching new highs as of late.  My contract for next year is on the way.  I have until April 15 to sign and return.  As I write this my heart rate has increased, I am sweating, I just might throw up.  


  1. I have taught for 34 years and my hat is always off to a special education teacher! How many years have you taught? May I ask?

  2. {{{{{hugs}}}}} This is a tough, tough decision. My only advice is this: do what will give you peace.

    Simple, huh? Not.

  3. Veterankindergartenteacher,

    I have done the EBD and alternative education gig for 18 years. I fear I am at the end of the road in this specialty area. I am on a one year leave to recover from the last 3 years. What makes this hard is that I LOVE my work. I am good at it. But the stress has become a health issue. I have so much more to offer in this area, so am looking at other ways to stay in this game without the direct service.
    34 years! And I have always maintained that K teachers are not paid enough, don't get enough preps and do a job I could never possibly manage!


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.