I want to quit!

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by mrsf04, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. mrsf04

    mrsf04 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2006

    11 students, 4 in wheelchairs. Two aides, neither knows how to do trasnfers. And a classroom that isn't ready due to technological issues.

    I cried so much today. I am not cut out for high school life skills. My kids are all bigger than me, i have a heart condition so i cant transfer kids.

    I didn't get my duty free lunch i had to feed kids because we were short.

    All in all, i want to turn in my resignation tomorrow. How bad is that?
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2006

    Repeat after me:

    Tomorrow is another day.
    Tomorrow WILL be better.
    This is going to be your best year yet.

    Repeat.

    Now that you feel better... can you train your aides to do the transferring? if not, talk to your Special ed. coordinator about getting training for your para's ASAP!!!
     
  4. NewTSped

    NewTSped New Member

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    Aug 23, 2006

    I feel the same way. I walked into an EN classroom today. I was hired yesterday and am new to Sped. The room was a mess and I feel lost. I feel like I don't know what to do. The Spec Ed Supervisor says to me on the phone, you did pretty good today, I have seen worse. What the heck does that mean. I interviewed for another position, but was offered this one. I am not sure what I am going to do now. I think I jumped in water that was too deep.
     
  5. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    Aug 23, 2006

    i think its a common feeling.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2006

    I have no Sped background-- I know the water would be WAY over my head!

    But, as an outsider looking in, here's my take:

    1) You're a caring teacher who wants the best for your kids. That's what they need above all else.

    2) The aides need to be trained ASAP. Make that a priority when you speak to the Director of SPED today. Are there any qualified personnel in the building? IF so, speak to them about helping you in the meantime. If not, I'm willing to bet that there will be some very angry parents in that office by Monday morning.

    3) Once that's under control, it seems that the rest should fall into place. Of course you're qualified! This is just one of those (awful) start of the year glitches that you'll become used to.

    Don't give up. These are kids who need people like you who care enough to cry. Hang in there-- it will get better!!
     
  7. mrsf04

    mrsf04 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2006

    After I wrote that, I got an email from the director of SPED and she had OT and PT in there this morning training my aides how to lift and do transfers. It was exactly the same way I showed them yesterday, but it was good to be backed up and have them really show them the good mechanics and all that.

    They also brought in another para from another class who is excellent and she was there all day. She isnt staying full time, but at least til we can hire another aide. And, they had the PE teacher who knows these kids and did PE with them last year, come in today with me to help "man" them.

    I only felt like quitting once or twice today instead of all day, so that's some progress!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2006

    I'm so glad it went better!!! Those kids need a caring teacher in their class :)
     
  9. tigerlily

    tigerlily Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2006

    Do you have a mentor teacher? What about anyone in the building who has worked with the kids before? I think they (admin, colleagues, etc.)should be giving you more support. Why do you only have 2 paras and so many students? This must be so difficult. I hope things get better for you. I know you asked in an earlier post about decorating your room, how is it coming along. High school can be a challenging time for students in Life Skills. I taught it for several years. Good Luck and keep us posted.
     
  10. mrsf04

    mrsf04 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2006

    Tigerlilly,

    THe decorating is ok. I have my calendar up, afew posters about respect and honesty, and then some pocket charts that are empty as of right now.

    Any suggestions on how to manage the classroom, schedules, etc.

    And i will say the admin. jumped on it today...THey saw how bad it was and they got a sub para in that they pulled from another class til they hire someone else, and they also put in the PE teacher with me to help

    Yes i have a mentor and she talked me out of quitting. She's been helpful, she has 1st hour planning and came in today and yesterday to help out.
     
  11. tigerlily

    tigerlily Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2006

    Mrs F,

    Is this a new program you are starting or did you replace a teacher? If you replaced someone did they leave any materials that would help you get started? Can you contact him/her?
    Do you have students going out to other classes? Schedules can be a bit tricky if you do. I always just make up an individual schedule for each student to follow and base it on their needs. Some students may have multiple pictures per class and they pull them off as the day goes on. Some students need only one picture or word and they cross it off as the class ends. I also add a picture of where we were going for our outing if they were going that day.

    As far as structuring the day goes it depends on what classes you have. For example, 2nd period I have Language Arts, so we start with a large group activity. I teach younger kids so I do a story or poem this could work for you if you found the right books. We also get the weekly reader. Then the kids work individually with myself or a para on their Edmark reading words. Then they work on their personal information on the computer or in writing. I also have some students that can't write so I made up folders that they match or sequence the letters of their names (These are laminated and similar to a "folder game"). The students also use their personal calendars to practice stamping their names. They stamp at the bottom of each date one time. If any students finish before the others they can do a structured sensory activity with their assistant, they can look at books or magazines, or listen to a book on tape.

    I follow the same pattern for Math. Large group instruction at desks first and then individual work with assistants. I also do social studies, science, and art depending on the day of the week. I use themes and base my projects around those. They can be hard to think of for older kids but Social Studies ideas work well. Ex. Africa, Asia, etc. You can find books to read and look at, do art projects, cook food.... all based on your theme. You can build functional skills into those activities. The teacher stores have lots of materials etc. Do you have a budget so you can buy some things?
    Can you tell me what classes you have? I may be able to help you think of some lesson or structure ideas?

    my schedule looks like this

    : lockers, bathroom, coats, etc.
    : Morning Meeting (calendar, weather, news, etc.)
    : language Arts
    : Sensory break, bathroom
    : Lunch
    : 20 min. Rest and Relax, bathroom, grooming
    : math
    :pE
    :snack, bathroom
    :Science, Social Studies, or Art
    :Go Home

    Also you have alot of kids for one Life Skills class especially if they have behavioral issues, that must be a real challenge to try to meet their needs. Are the parents being supportive? Are any of the students able to help out with simple things around the room? My students have classroom jobs, kids at all levels like to help out.
    I hope the admin. continues to be supportive, you will need it. Just keep thinking about that one kid you really love and don't want to let down and you will make it through. I am sure you will get lots of help and support from your co-workers and those of us here. Keep us posted.
     
  12. mrsf04

    mrsf04 Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2006

    I am replacing a teacher, but she left and was very bitter and did not leave me ANY information. All the teacher files were gone and the room is very disorganized. It took me 3 days to find the Boardmaker software, if that gives you any idea. Additionally, the paras from last year went with the teacher and so we are ALL new!

    Yes we have a ton of students in there. I really have to organize and get every kid on a schedule. I do have some students leaving, but they require a para, so that will leave me with 2 paras for the other students. EEEEK!

    we are in the 4 block schedule. Each block is 85 minutes long. First block is Functional Academics, 2nd block is daily living skills, and 3rd block is vocational skills. Then end the day with PE, but I have planning during that block.
     
  13. tigerlily

    tigerlily Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2006

    Wow, that is a difficult situation. I guess contacting the old teacher is out. I don't envy you. Did the former teacher just have 2 paras as well? I might be bitter too if I had that many kids in my class and so little help! ;) Can the junior high or middle school teacher give you any info on the kids who have left his or her class in the last 2 years or so?
    Are the files available in a central location? You should be able to get most of the information out of the IEP at least for goals and transition info. Behavioral issues may also be covered. Does anyone else in the school know the kids well enough to help with these issues? PE teacher, subs, other paras?
    85 minutes is a long time to fill! I would definitely break it down into smaller pieces. But, You get 85 minutes of planning! Wow that is one bonus:) It sounds like your classes are pretty straight forward and geared toward a functional curriculum. Do you have access to the News-2-You? weekly reader? Functional academics could be your class for math and language arts. Will you be going out to the community? Daily living skills could really be anything, cooking, cleaning, rec. & leisure, etc. What type of vocational programming is available for your 3rd block class?
    It really sounds like you are in for an interesting year. Is this your first job in Life Skills? It is fairly normal to feel overwhelmed by the needs of the students and getting your class together. In such a large class even more so. I am sure that in a few weeks you will have it all figured out. Remember to give yourself a break, you will come through. I am sure everyone is glad to have you and will help you out in any way they can.
     
  14. Good1

    Good1 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2006

    Don''t let it get to you too much. Start counting to 10. If you have a heart problem, than you need to try not to get too worked up.
    Remember, no job comes without stress. Take care of yourself.
     
  15. mrsf04

    mrsf04 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2006

    Ok well....that didn't last long. After last week I said that i'd give it a little more time, i'm not quitter. However, this week i've had 2 aides instead of 3 again and my technology still wont work and I've been throwing up at home and not sleeping and crying due to the stress. I gave them my 30 day notice yesterday. Today the director of sped tried to tell me i had to work the whole year but she'd be "nice" and let me off at Christmas. I knew that was BS so i went to my union rep and she practically cleaned out my desk for me. She said with my heart issues, the stress and my husband in Iraq and being a single mom right now that I didnt need all that.

    So, 30 days from yesterday i'm done! I did tell the director that i'd do homebound for her because they need people for that and she said ok.

    I feel horrible for quitting, but i have to do whats right for me and my family.....right?
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 29, 2006

    Yes, I agree that you have to preserve your health and sanity first. Don't give up on teaching, though. There has got to be a better fit for you and I hope you find it.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Aug 29, 2006

    don't worry.... you will find the right place. In the meantime, take care of yourself or you will be no good to anyone. So sorry that your experience was less than perfect.
     

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