Saturday, May 28, 2016

What a week this has been

On Tuesday, my youngest had his band concert.  He plays the trumpet and was excited to be playing for the parents.  It was standing room only which is a good sign that music is alive and well in the elementary school.  He plans to continue playing next year in the middle school so may be following in his brother's footsteps.  All of my kids played an instrument in elementary school.

My oldest daughter played the clarinet, daughter #2 played clarinet, then switched to flute when she found out there were too many clarinet players.  My oldest son played trombone and then the youngest plays the trumpet.  Of course they couldn't all play the same instrument, that would just make too much sense.  When the girls got to the middle school, they gave up their instruments for other interests, but my son continued and still plays trombone in college.  He loves jazz music best and I've come to appreciate it after having to listen to it for so many years.  At first I thought it was just noise, but once it was explained to me year after year, I began to hear what others were hearing and now I actually enjoy most of it.  Sometimes when a soloist gets in their own zone and just goes off, I go back to those first days of thinking, what are they doing? But at least I understand what they are trying to do.

Then on Wednesday, this happened.

He was one of my students.  I have him in my 5th period class and they got him during 4th.  I found out later he was planning on jumping another student because of a belt.  Really?  You ruin your life over a belt?  He's a student I had concerns about at the very beginning of the year.  I asked for a parent meeting, the parent showed up and met with the other teachers but because I have a 7th period class, she couldn't wait the extra few minutes for me to finish class and just left.  I was the one who asked for the meeting and she told the counselor she had heard enough and knew what she needed to do to help her son.

We had another meeting a couple of months ago because he still wasn't doing well or passing any classes.  I left that meeting sad that things were not going to change.

The next morning I got an email from a different parent saying there was another student in a different class with a 'kill list'.  He's an odd student, very reserved who refuses to talk to anyone.  That parent thought it might have been this student who was finally acting out on his list.  I informed the administration who searched the student and didn't find anything.  There wasn't really anything they could do.

That same day I had to file a CPS report on a student who got in a fight with her stepfather and spent the previous day in juvenile hall.

Sheep dissection lab
Yesterday a student in another class fainted during a lab and the paramedics had to be called because she hit her head hard on the way down.  We have some co-teaching classes with the special ed department and the co-teacher decided she did not want to participate in the dissection so just didn't show up to class.  That was the class where the student fainted and left the teacher with a class full of students and no extra help.  He had to deal with a student passed out, no one to call for help and of course the kids all freaking out.

heart, lungs, trachea, liver, gall bladder
We've been fighting all year with the administration and special ed department about these co-teaching classes because of things like this where the co-teacher isn't doing what they are supposed to do.  Imagine if I just decided not to show up to my class one day!  I'm pretty sure I'd get in trouble.  But nothing ever happens when they don't show up, or come late or leave early and they get paid the same as the regular classroom teacher.

You have to get your hands dirty in this job.  The kids just love it!  Some of them decided a heart surgeon was not their calling.
We are getting some training this summer after I've complained almost daily this year and hopefully will have a meeting before school starts next year to lay some ground rules so this doesn't happen again.

 We have 4 days of school left this year, three of which are finals.  To say I'm excited is an understatement.  I have tons of grading to do this weekend and lots of cleaning up to do.  I feel like renting a big dumpster and just throwing everything away and starting over, but that would be too easy!  But, I'm in the mood to just start purging, which is a good thing.  I also need some serious quilting time to de-stress from this crazy week.  There are days when I wonder what on earth I got myself into by becoming a teacher and then there are moments like yesterday when my students realized it was the end of the year and started asking if they could be in my class again next year.

"Can you request me?"

I told them I have no pull with the counseling office.  If I did, I would hand pick my classes for only students with no drama.  But, what fun would that be?

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