I am a long term sub in a closed classroom for three students with Autism and developmental delay. I am their "homeroom." I am also the "homeroom" of a Kinder and First who have some time in a general ed classroom. I also have 6 other students who are in Gen Ed most of the day, but come to my room either as a resource room or for reading class. The kids are in Kindergarten, First Grade, and a Third Grader who is so low, he has nowhere else to go. The problem is the violence of two or three kids who trigger the other kids. My aide had to go the the nurse yesterday to get two icepacks, one for each cup in her bra. Same aide lost a tooth in a small focus room when the same child threw a wood block in her face. Also, she had to get an x-ray from a hard kick affecting her knee. A very strong 5 year old attempted to push our aide (who is 57) down a set of concrete steps (she had to bounce him back to break his full force.) She has been bit many times by another child. We both have had scissors thrown at us. We have both been slapped across the face multiple times (it is very hard not to slap back out of reflex, another subject entirely). We both have dodged punches, shoes, puzzles, toys, anything like that being thrown at us. I have been spat at, had loogies hocked in my face (that one I ducked), bit, etc. Other kids have gone home after emergencies such as getting a black eye, or one child (the one that gave the other child a black eye), he had to go home because his arm had a bite that not only bruised and broke skin, but almost took a chunk off right through the arm. Throwing chairs is the worst problem. These guys don't just throw a chair. They have learned this from another child. What they do is, they pick up a chair, spin around a few times and let go of the chair... it's all we can do to act fast and push kids out of the way (and we never know which direction the chair will fly). Now the other kids are doing this. But they're taking it up a notch and doing this at point blank range. I caught two chairs this week in midair at arms length from another child's head. The same day. We are in a small classroom with no windows except for a narrow window on our door, looking at a brick wall. It's hard to prep for their work for them to do and get out supplies when everything out becomes a game or a target. I tell new adults that come into my room "Don't put anything out you don't want thrown at you." They don't understand. Your drinks, chips, snacks, etc. are going to be thrown in anger or in a game to try to get attention. The kids are not allowed to eat in the cafeteria. They have to eat with me. During lunch, one of the kids thinks it is funny to spit masticated food in a 3 foot radius or stomp his food into the floor. Scissors cannot be left out, ever. If you jump up to help one kid from harm's way, you come back and your rolled velcro has been de-backed and 3 or 4 feet is wasted in under a minute. A well-meaning aide wanted to prep for the reading group's writing and when she came back, the supplies were trashed, except for the paper and pencil the child was drawing on. She had to reprep right when the reading group came to the table and by that time, of course, all but one kid wandered off to look at books or to join another group... Puzzle racks have to be hidden (my first day I did puzzles with my aide for about 1 hr solid), boom box has to be put up, chairs have to be removed... My sensory items are all getting destroyed... my bean bags were tossed for rips, trampoline is ripped, the OT balls are projectiles, the squeeze balls and Play-Doh were destroyed, and the only really good tools we have are some nice weighted blankets (We had 4--2 are missing or "borrowed"). Legs on the table are in need of being re-tightened once every quarater or so. I'd really like to set up a normal classroom with normal sensory spot, a lamp, rocking chair, bean bag, reading center, stations and dividers... but I am not sure I can risk that. I am doing the best I can having surfaces cleaned, seating which isn't a game to run around, enough chairs to sit on, but not too many (I have to stack and unstack chairs 3 or 4 times a day) and having a few surfaces to work at. I'd like to be able to use my word wall (it's ripped off the wall daily), my monthly calendar (again... ripped off daily) and my daily schedule and First/Then cards without them being ripped up or trashed. The room is very sterile and I am wondering HOW ON EARTH this is normal. Is this normal? Are these Pinterest pictures of cute functional autism classrooms fake, or do they ACTUALLY EXIST? Are your rooms trashed daily, and the pictures I see on Pinterest are the "Before" pictures in the morning before the class on a daily basis? I try to ask questions of my principal and student support, and from the higher level teacher across the hall. Is this normal? Why am I being told that it is normal, I'm doing a good job, this is a hard job, etc. and trying to do their best to blow off the situation and just to "do the best I can." I feel this type of pep talk isn't the truth at all, it's just just meant to give me peace of mind but I'm too smart to fall for it. I honestly think it's most likely they don't want to deal or help our team if they can get away with it. We're supposed to give time out, but we would have to hold the kids on their tummies to prevent them from beating us up in time out. I didn't sign up for a job to be a target dummy all day, and when they're working, they sometimes do very well. It's just hard to set up for their Unique Learning or work projects when I feel I'm just trying to keep them from killing each other, themselves, me, or else I am putting in a movie hoping they will just remain calm for a half hour and I "narrate" the movie" or prep a pencil and paper activity, HOPING not to have the room torn apart if I turn my back. Also, if another teacher comes in, they aren't doing work or watching a movie and our ESL teacher is concerned that her child isn't getting services and she's right. He needs a one on one, he doesn't have one, he's in diapers and nonverbal, and he runs around the room all day getting no attention while we put out fires. Am I not doing a good job, why can't my room be like the autism rooms on the blogs, and what can I do about the violence in the classrooms? We can't send the kids to the office, we can't send them home (which makes me feel like we are a paid-by-the-hour babysitting service), our sensory tools are ehhh, and I don't know if me being a sub (again, an easy target for being BS'ed) is at all a part of not being able to defend myself against the hazardous behaviors. Is this normal? I'm a sub, been at this job for 6 months so far, and I have no clue what is right and what is bullcrap.