Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sad State of Affairs, Personal, Local and Otherwise

Wow.  What a weekend.  Unmedicated Movie Man was quite the trip as he tried to get his biography done.  His wonderful teacher allowed him to put it in movie format, but unmedicated he got so distracted by every single flashy phase in and out, spinning words and photos, sound effects that after three hours he still had only one frame done.  GRRRR!
Anyway, it was done by 9 PM Sunday evening.... and this is after sitting with him one-on-one, lots of yelling, bribery, snacks and breaks.... Anyone else living like this?  How do you do it??

I am so distracted by what is going on in public education this morning that I cannot think straight.  So pardon my babbling.

I simply do not understand how our federal government can continue to spend billions on bailing out car makers, bankers, insurance companies and also pay for a war that will net no outcome worth the billions (not to forget the lives!) spent, and NOT throw some well deserved money at struggling school districts.  I just don't get it.  I thought this administration understood the importance of education?  I voted for this administration.  I want a call from the White House.  I want to talk to Arnie and then to the President.  I will spare you what I would say as you all would say the very same things.

I have been filling my hours in immobilizing angst.  Although I signed my contract to go back next year, I am not sure I can do it.

Here is the latest report from my old room.

Two of the most damaged kiddos rebelled horrifically to the points and levels.  One is now starting fires at home and suspensions for the year have exceeded 20 days ( this is a 5th grader, people!).  One is out until midnight every night and cannot function at school... has done ZERO school work all year. this is not an exaggeration.  Nothing.

OK, so are the adults rethinking how they are treating the kids?  Are the adults at school rethinking their methodologies?
Oh, they are!  The district hired another educational assistant to be one-on-one with one of the boys to keep the two apart! Can you stand it?

They did not adjust any other variable.  They did not get rid of the points or levels.  They did not suspend the academics and provide activities that help kids like them get re-regulated.  They did not try to build relationships.  They did not rearrange the daily schedule to ensure those two kids got what they needed so they could then even entertain the idea that school might be an OK place to  be for 7 hours a day.

Nope, what they did was put 100% onus on the children to be different and to conform.  The kids pushed back and won.  Another year lost.  Now they both face alternative placements in self contained programs made of much of the same.

Another kiddo who lived in an incredibly abusive home... I  mean horrific.... was removed over the summer and is doing really well!  He is happy, productive.

But guess what?  Social Services is putting him back with his mother!!!  This woman is mentally ill, mean, evil, and there is no way she is ready to have her kids back.  She gets a large chunk of cash when the kids live with her, so she is motivated to play the game with those fat SSI checks dangled in front of her.

One of my girls is growing a mustache.... yep.... she always said she wanted to be a boy.  I have had concerns about her all along as she lives in a bazaar world and knows not fantasy from reality.  Her mother is as nuts and I wonder now if this poor girl's gender identity issues are at the root of it all.  There is no way her mother will ever have an open discussion about her daughter.  With anyone.

But the worst of it all is that poor Aunt Sally sits unused in the corner of the room.  For a whole year.  A wonderful, proven useful and therapeutic tool sits unused for a whole year... while kids are screaming for alternative methodologies, there Aunt Sally sits.  Powerless to help.

As am I.


  1. I have been reading your words since you began many months ago. You are a caring, enthusiastic, challenging teacher who was on the right path in regard to advocating for your students. Only you can answer this. Can you continue in this regard? It appears to me that you are thinking thoughtfully, but now it is time get serious about what you will do this upcoming school year. There is only one question in regards to you going back to the classroom. You need to ask yourself, can I work within the system or not? If you cannot, then don't go back. If you can foresee an uphill struggle which you are not afraid to take on, then do go back. It is time to make a decision, move on and go forward with the truth as you see it now. Once you have made your choice, you can move on productively to whatever the next step is.
    It matters to the students whose lives you affect every day. If you are able to separate your school life from your home life, I foresee a very fulfilling and happier woman. If this is not your path at this time, then you should move on to whatever next awaits you and put behind you, your sadness, regrets and disappointments. You have to decide what you can do. Perhaps you "care" too much. This is not a bad thing per se. However, you could most likely, be a fantastic teacher that cares a ton but then purposely leaves at school, school stuff. It would not be easy for one that takes on the souls of these children as it appears you do. I think you could try though.

  2. Geez, Heidi, how did you know this was the topic of discussion in therapy today??? Yes, it is the indecision that is killing me and it is time. A decision will be made by next Monday. Other irons in the fire I have yet to write about, will determine the outcome.
    I so appreciate all your feedback and support. Stay tuned!

  3. don't you wish we could be like horses. They put the blinders on the horse, and they don't have to look left or right. What others do don't effect them. They just get to look forward and make their own steady progress.
    I want a pair of magic blinders.

  4. Blinders would be helpful right now. Sort of forces you to stay single mindedly focused on the task at hand. I am all over the map!


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