My first day

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TemperanceFaith, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2008

    It's never anything like you anticipate, and rarely as its described, is the only thing I can say.

    I am a one on one exceptional parapro, that's the "official" title.

    I was basically thrown into the fray with a pat on the head and a good luck, maybe a couple "I know you can do it" but way too many "God bless you's" from other teachers, aides and paras. To the point that I felt like telling them to keep their negativity to themselves.

    They have written off this child and he is a ripe old age of 7. I can't tell you how much that pisses me off. Because he is bright. REALLY bright. He could probably run circles around my IQ bright. His teacher has had him for three days and said " Hope you can get something out of him because I can't" I did, btw. I got plenty. Because I listened and was patient and understood that it has to be tough being him, and I told him so, and said that's why I was there, to help him be the best kid and to see how smart he is.

    The psychologist agreed, and said too many people don't have the coping skills themselves so they pass it off. They either never took a basic psych course and never learned operant conditioning or they skipped class that semester, who knows.


    It was probably one of the hardest days I have ever had. I also loved every minute of it. If that makes sense. I imagine this will be an awesome prep for my own classroom one day, but more than that, it made me realize that maybe special education is the direction I want to go. In the end, as burned out as people tend to get, you can't forget these are CHILDREN we are dealing with, someone else's children to boot. I think sometimes that's forgotten.

    Other observations: I will eat in the custodial closet before I eat in the teachers lounge again, because I am immune to gossip and negativity, and dammit,I plan to stay that way. :D

    I love kids.

    I even love this kid, and pray to God I make a difference in his life.

    I need a long, hot bath and a glass of wine. Maybe two.

    That is all.
     
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  3. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    You will make a difference in this little guys life because you have the love and drive to do it! I say he is VERY lucky to have you.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    That's awesome about your day!! It sounds like you are on the right path.
     
  5. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    You need to join us in the Major's hot tub...... :p:p:p.. At least half the crowd consist of fun lovin' teachers.......:D:D:D

    Major........:):):)
     
  6. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I got in my car and cried. How stupid is that?

    Then I called my best friend and told her I am so proud of her and I know what she has gone through all these years. (Her son has severe ADHD, ODD and other issues; he is in HS now and doing great because she was the best advocate and he had people who did not give up on him at 7 :D)

    Then I prayed for the ability to make that difference, because I feel so inadequate right now. But I AM going to do this.
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    And these teachers are very dedicated to their kids........... just as you.........
     
  8. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I had class tonight and my girlfriend is actually my Prof..she teaches HS during the day and adjuncts at night. I said "Is there a dream school where everyone there is smiling and happy and seems like they love their job?" She said, "You went in the lounge, didn't you? Karen, what was the first rule you learned in ed class? :lol:"

    Short of being an antisocial snot, I really have to find a way to tune out the whiners. I am definitely not going to whine myself. I'll just come on here and do it,;)
     
  9. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I hope you don't think I am bashing every teacher. I didn't even have a big sample to choose from. But the ones I did meet did not seem happy, and that makes me unhappy. I am sure they love their kids and are dedicated, I am sorry for how that came out.
     
  10. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    I am so glad your first day went well!

    May I gently say that most teachers do not "write off" a student after a few days. However, when we are in charge of an entire class, there are students who we aren't able to reach in the way we would like to. When students are able to have one-on-one help, that's a blessing. Thank you for what you do!
     
  11. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I don't think that you are bashing every teacher at all...... far from it...... :hugs::hugs::hugs:........OK????

    Major.........:)
     
  12. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I am sorry, I really did not mean it that way. I am only saying that is how it seemed to me. I don't mean to disrespect anyone on here, and certainly everyone is different. But this was a common sentiment today, how no one wants to work with him, how tough he is, how the other teachers and assistants had no ability to get through, etc. That's how I was welcomed, and that makes it tough to feel like there is a lot of positive.
     
  13. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    What about him....... why is he tough??
     
  14. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    He is a brilliant child. I can see that already. But he has severe ADHD, ODD, that's for starters. It seems like the only thing that works the best is rewards system, almost like every task needs to be negotiated, almost instant grat, and no delay. They have his chart broken down into half hour periods where I give points in those chunks of time, and dangle the carrot so to speak.

    I already am attached to him, and I just hope I can reach him and find a way to keep him from being so frustrated all the time and eventually love to learn. Right now, though he has learned, obviously, he does not seem to come to it happily, and I think that is the toughest thing to see.
     
  15. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    :hugs: No worries! It is frustrating when there really is that sentiment that other have given up. I had a student who everyone told me would never really talk and who couldn't sit for more than 5 minutes. Well, he sat with me for 30 minutes and participated the first day. He loved being with peers, so as long as his behavior was good, guess where I asked for him to be? I am glad you're able to come in and be the breath of fresh air they need!
     
  16. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    How do you possibly give "points" every 1/2 hour??:eek: You have a tough job ahead.........
     
  17. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I agree. Every 1/2 hour is broken down into different assessments. I did not do it today, but I have to start tomorrow.
     
  18. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    There are five categories in an assessment half hour. I give 1 point for each item. Ideally he should have 5/5. I take away a point for each time he goes off.
     
  19. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Good luck K........ That's giving five "grades" every 30 minutes... I don't think I could do that..:(... Who actually looks at all the "scores" you gather each day........ and what do they do with it??
     
  20. Electron

    Electron Rookie

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    Yes: mine. That's why I turned that job offer down (see other thread) :D
     
  21. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I guess the school psych and the P, child study team, etc. I think they are using it to show that it worked last year, but his personal reaction to it is very hostile. He said "We're not using this again are we? I don't want that thing in the room. I want to be normal."..sounded not like child-speak but like he heard adults speaking about it.

    But I saw his charts from last year and there was a definite improvement when they were used, so I don't know. It seems extreme to break it down..I think the parents blamed the school when he had issues last year..like "Well if you were doing your job, he wouldnt be acting this way" kind of attitude. I did not get that vibe at all from them, but that seems to be the prevailing opinion from the staff. Whereas I thought the parents were incredibily plugged in.
     
  22. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Good luck with your new position. You will make a difference for this student, because you have the passion and drive to do what works. Keep us posted. :)
     
  23. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    I am very admiring of you. This is the outlook we should all have.
     
  24. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I know what you mean. A friend of mine also teaches at the local college, but she is a whiner. I have only been teaching for three years and she is bound and determined I will burn out long before I retire. I will only teach 20 years because I'm a late bloomer. Anyway, I have surrounded myself with teachers who love to teach and care about the kids! In fact, I was just talking about this very topic with the teacher who was my mentor (I still consider her my mentor-she's fabulous!) today. She has been teaching 25 years and still looks forward to coming everyday! That is how I want to be. I eat in the teacher's lounge, and yes, there are some gripers, but I don't let them get me down. I don't want to be a prisoner to my room either, so I just change the subject if they are complaining.

    I still LOVE my job abd. It is the first job I have ever had that I do not dread going to! I hope that you love your job just as much!
     
  25. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Well today was MUCH better. :D

    I had a chance to get to know my way around better, had a good meeting of the minds with my teacher, and know my expectations. My student had a great day, stayed on task and got a lot of work done. The only tough moments were winding down after recess and the trip from recess to the lunchroom, but we got through it.

    I also had a chance to work with the other students in the room, and the teacher encourages this. She wants it to be as if I am here for the entire class, not simply my student. I helped her do some classroom work and even got to grade some papers and add some stars. :wub: She is going to be great to work for(with). I will learn a lot from her.

    The negativity is part of the job I suppose, and I will get through it. I did eat in the lounge again because there is really no where else short of sitting in the garden. (We have a beautiful garden in the center of the school that I would live in.) I just made small talk and stayed out of the negative conversation and when anyone gave me the sympathy eyes and the "How are YOU doing?", I said "Just great today. Every day is a new day and a new adventure!"

    I like it. Ok, scratch that. I LOVE it. I love the kids, all of them. They have their own personalities and every one of them has something special that I see already. It does not feel like I am working or doing a job, it feels like it's part of me like breathing, if that makes sense. I just watch and learn and laugh and yes, sometimes have to come up with some unique management skills, but it's working so far, and that's giving me the confidence I need.
     

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