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monday, january 10, 2005

the morning was great. the kids were great, even though it's elementary kids and i don't do well with elementary kids. the teacher had everything written out, everything all ready and prepared for me. it was a very nice morning. tiring since you have to be constantly on the move with elementary kids, but nice. and my loving hubby, off yet again today, brought me lunch.

from there the day kinda imploded.

first strike: i was placed in a special ed class. now the stellar sub did apologize because she knew i didn't want to do special ed, but it was really too late to do much at the point.

second strike: the special ed class was a k/first combo class. turns out this is not such a big deal as long as one of the components of the special ed is not adhd, which it wasn't this time around.

third strike: the teacher was . . . just . . . best words to explain it: anal retentive manic. she had no sub folder, no lesson plans, no emergency plan as far as i could tell. she just talked at me. when i asked about it being written down, i got, "oh, i have my lesson book, but it's easy." followed by more talking at me. by the time she left, i was damn near hyperventilating.

thank god for the para-pro who had the frame of mind to help walk me through a few things, but really isn't her job to hold the sub's hand. and this poor sub needed her hand held and needed at least one extra body in the room.

ever hear the phrase be careful what you wish for?

the regular teacher comes back during her meeting break and is supposed to work quietly on her planning or whatever. did she? nooooooooo. she dives in and explains even more to me, disrupts the classroom, and then expected me to know things i would have no idea about. she had this one project planned that i really felt was above the kids levels, but we were forced to do it because she sat us adults down and essentially made us do it. the kids who weren't receiving direct help from either me or the para-pro were bored to tears because it was not an activity they could do on their own. then, for the last hour, i was given busy work. this usually doesn't bother me, but this time it felt like she was piling insult on top of injury.

granted, as a sub/teacher, i'm not to up on what works for the elementary grades (and, really, this would have worked for a regular ed class of the same level, i'm sure), but as the parent of an autistic, i know something above level when i see it.

she was more exhausting than the kids were. hell, her room was more exhausting than the kids were. my poor son would have keeled over in this room and come home completely over stimulated and stressed out. almost every inch of wall space was covered. it was too busy even for me, and i'm not autistic. and some of the stuff she had up was already up elsewhere but in a different color or shape or whatever. like the monthly calendar - that things was up in 3 or 4 different places with 2 of them right next to each other.

then i heard some rather disturbing things about the woman and her teaching. for one, she can't seem to keep a para-pro to save her life. she burns them out, scares them away, or something. second, she wants everything to be done perfectly. well, helloooooo! forget that these kids are special ed, they are kindergartners and first graders! perfect is not in their vocabulary, much less in their motor skill ability! now add disabilities and what in the hell is this woman thinking?

when it came time to fill out my evaluation form as a sub, hers was definitely less than complimentary, and got a few parental comments thrown in because of the state of the room itself. i couldn't really say much about the teaching itself because that was only hearsay, but even toning the room down would be a good thing.

i don't think i've ever had a class where the teacher was more of a problem than the kids before. i don't think i ever want one again. that was just . . . wow. and not in a good way.

word of the moment: susurrant

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