Saturday, September 13, 2008

I don't get strokes, I give them!

Hello world. The Barber's been out of commission for about a month, but for good reason. Just started my new gig as a 4th grade Special Education teacher. Sigh, moan, puff, pass. I've been keeping my evenings real high-rie to balance and counteract the madness I face at work.

This isn't my first go-round with teaching--been doing it since the turn of the millenium. My students were still sucking nipple and shitting in diapers when I started in fact. But this new experience just could be the challenge of my life to date. Here's a rundown of the disabilities my students [and I] are dealing with:

* Lead Poisoning
* Tourette's Syndrome
* Autism
* ADHD
* Schitzophrenia
* Dementia (hearing voices)
* Severe Emotional Disturbance

All of this in 14 students. Have I received any documents that instruct me on how to educate these kids? Nope. Did I have a classroom when I arrived on the first day? Nope. Should I have 14 students in a class that's legally only supposed to have 12 maximum. Nope.

Here's a rundown of some of the incidents that have occurred in the last two weeks. I have about six pages, front and back, of incidents already. From 14 students.

* Kid brings in handcuffs to class, cuffs himself to his own desk. Asks me for them at lunchtime so that he can "play" with them at lunch.

* One kid talks to his dead brother. Troubling, especially when you learn that he's an only child.

* Student picks up a cabinet, full of hard cover textbooks, and hurls it across my room. Student then proceeds to kick EVERY desk over, and destroy the math area, which is full of tiny manipulatives that can cause choking in small children. Student has to be restrained for a half an hour before he calms down. Student is not yet four feet tall.

* I ask, then tell, then scream at a student to sit down. He responds with a resounding "I don't give a FUCK!". He too has yet to hit the four foot mark.

* Student with lead poisoning climbs cabinet to retrieve the key for the closet, which must be locked to prevent student from gathering his things to make a swift exit from the classroom. Student almost plunges to his death before I catch him in mid-air. He responds with a resounding "Don't touch me!" Student is allowed to fall [gently] to the ground.

* Student pours glue all over teacher's(not mine) desk, then calls her a "fucking bitch, fucking ho". Teacher chases student down the hall and catches him in front of my classroom, which is playing host to the fourth grade team meeting. The entire team [except me] looks on in horror as teacher holds student down in a futile attempt to make him apologize. I guffaw inwardly as student responds, "I'm sorry you fucking bitch, fucking ho!"

That was this week. Can't wait till holiday season rolls around.

I almost quit on day 2, no joke. But then I remembered I was a fucking G (yeah, capita), and decided that no one, or their imaginary friends, will ever break me. To quote Jim Brown in Any Given Sunday, "I don't get strokes, I give 'em!"


2 comments:

Karl said...

You telling me...used to teach 5th grade in NYC....eye opening to say the least....

mistahlex@gmail.com said...

Sounds like a test of Self mastering to say the least.....I applaud your patience and courage..........Every child can be reached, if you care enough to reach out......!!!