Worst.Day.Ever.

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by karebear76, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I've had the worst possible day. Bad enough to make me seriously ponder moving my family into a cardboard box if I quit...not really but BAD...

    How do you recover from those bad days? I can't even say it's the kids. They were manageable (not according to my P, but I feel like they were ok).

    I was told repeatedly that I HAD to be in Sci & SS inclusion this year. With 19 students (4 of which are HIGH NEEDS, alternate assessment with one student having a 1:1 para), that takes up half my day. It also meant that I would have to pull all of them to teach Math at one class period. After observing them today, and yesterday, it just isn't going to be productive in the least. Way too many kids, too many behaviors, and too many levels.

    So after having a mental breakdown with my colleagues at our dept meeting, one goes to the P (trying to help, not make problems) and brings her & counselor to my room. I am still in an absolute mental breakdown. P changes her tune about inclusion, and then tells me basically its all my fault b/c of no classroom management. I'm improving on this, or I thought I was. Then I try to tell her that I'm doing 1:1 assessments with a room full of kids.

    Nothing I said was right; she's always breathing down our necks about how long the assessment is taking, etc. I'm already doing way less than I need to, for my own data just to get done sooner.

    It was awful. I'm always trying to make everyone around me happy...when (and who) is going to do that for me?

    Now my chore is trying to completely re-do all of my planning in one night to get a more manageable schedule by tomorrow. :dizzy:
     
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  3. AuntieReads

    AuntieReads New Member

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I'm so sorry you had such a horrible day! You get a million points for doing intermediate intervention at the outset! I cope like you did by venting with trusted collegues. It sounds like expectations are unrealistic, and possible unlikely to change if P doesn't understand why. Is there a Special Education supervisor for your district? Do you have a trusted collegue who would tell you about whether the classroom management issues are legit? I admire your attempts to improve. I've been teaching 25 years and there are so many adjustments to make when students come with multiple issues. I always figured I'd have it all figured out at this point! :)

    Hang in there, and let us know how it improves! I believe it will!!
     
  4. roll

    roll Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2011

    Nineteen kids - yikes! Do you have your own para or only the 1:1? HOW do you teach nineteen students?
     
  5. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I don't know yet. I have one student out of the 19 with a 1:1. She does help out with my 4 lowest kiddos.

    I'm completely overwhelmed right now, and totally doubting all of my abilities. My P managed to completely strip any confidence I had.

    I'm working on a new schedule to cut out the inclusion, and limit the numbers in the room at one time. But P also said, if the kids that were in the regular room weren't successful then I'd have to pull them as well, which brings me full circle to 19 in the room which is TOO many (not to mention against the law). I am supposed to have 4th grade mild to moderate students.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I'm sorry :(. It's like people don't realize how one P can bring down a whole building. So do you still have to do science and ss inclusion? Honestly, I think that's not the best use of your time. Almost all special ed teachers don't work with science and ss. Sure, it'd be nice if you had extra time, but it certainly doesn't sound like you do. And unless inclusion is implemented really well (where the gen ed teacher is really willing to let you teach some of the class) it's never productive. You end up being a para or wandering around someone elses' classroom, wasting valuable teaching time. I have students in k-5, which is obviously a lot of work just to do reading/writing/math, so I don't do a single thing for ss/science. We have a new 4th grade teacher and I've been working with her on setting up a reading unit since my 4th graders are close to grade level and we're going to collaborate a lot to make sure we're on the same page (instead of me doing some sort of alternate intervention program). She was working on some ss stuff today and asked me if I wanted her to send it to me, and I just looked at her and said, "honestly, no. I have so much on my plate doing reading/writing/math for all the grades. If you have something specific you want my help with, let me know. Otherwise, I'm not going to worry about ss or science." She seemed pretty okay with that. Are the other teachers on your team pretty good with working with you? Maybe you could come up with a plan together, and then present the P with a united front on what you want to do. I hope things work out!
     
  7. Southernese

    Southernese Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2011

    I know very well from my teaching days how hard it can be when the administration gives you a gut punch like that. I used to have an AP that made me feel horrible every time I talked to her. The irony is that her mantra for kids was "positive reinforcement," but all she ever did with teachers focused completely on the negative.

    My best advice is to find an ally in the building. Not only someone to share your frustrations with, but someone who will help you plan and organize.
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Aug 24, 2011

    Could you ask for parent volunteers or student aides?
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2011

    :hugs:
     
  10. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 25, 2011

    Thanks. Today was marginally better. My first week is always stressful but this year is the worst I've had.

    I like to think my team is on my side, but there's been some things in the past that makes me leery of trusting them. Some of them (I work with 5 homerooms) are supportive to my face, but then complain to the P that something isn't working, which then brings the P to my room telling me to change.

    I hate that I'm so emotional and give her that much power over me :( but she's had me in tears more than once. I think the thing that bothers me most, is she's a former sp ed teacher. I had hoped she would remember what it was like...but it was a false hope that's been dashed repeatedly over the years.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 25, 2011

    Maybe the fact that she did a sped job herself makes her think that she just knows everything about the position, or makes her really picky about how it's done. Sort of like she wants you to teach exactly the same way she would? Or she sees something you struggle with that was a strength for her so she doesn't understand why it's not the same for you. I don't know, just guessing. Our AP has NO background or even frame of reference for sped, and I find he is the most respectful person in regards to my job because he just doesn't know anything about it. Anything I do he thinks is awesome, almost like I've done something new or special when reallly it's just normal special ed stuff. So maybe it's the opposite with your P.
     
  12. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 25, 2011

    Awww - - just saw this post, KB. I'm so sorry your P is such a jerk. :mad: If it makes you feel any better, I am also having a very difficult time in my new position - I almost started crying during carpet today!! Yeesh. One little girl came up and gave me a hug at the end of the lesson which I thought was awesome. So here's a hug from me to you: :hugs: And here's hoping we BOTH have a much better time of it and SOON.
     
  13. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Aug 25, 2011

    kb, I'm so glad that your day was a little better. I know it is hard to work for someone who has little faith in you and seems to be always ready to "catch you". I hope that your year gets better!
     
  14. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 25, 2011

    Sorry to hear that Zoom. Sometimes the beginning of the year can be so stressful! Here's one for you, too! :hugs:

    I'm hoping that next week will be better once I can start the schedule and implement my procedures and routines.

    I'm completely stressed at home, and now at school...I have no place that's just peace. There's no joy in my life and I really don't like the person I've become. I wish I could crawl in a cave and hide, forever :(

    I keep at it though, as I'm the only employed person in my home. My family needs the money. Hoping that it gets better, I sure feel like I've been at rock bottom for a long time.
     

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