Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's here!


No more test pr@p! No more test pr@p! No more test pr@p!

Ugh! What a huge consumption of time and effort. I'm elated to be done with it, even though it means that I will have to now focus my attention on the alternate assessment kiddos.

I vowed to myself that I would get to school early this morning to ensure that I had an extra stash of pencils sharpened, mentally map out where I would seat my students, and make a couple of phone calls to students who never show up on time. Unfortunately, the weather conspired against me. It was too dang cold to get out from under the comforter this morning, and I got to school with only a half hour to spare. *sigh*

The plan of action called for both sections of the 7th grade special education classes (that required double time) to be tested in the same room. My room. It shouldn't have been a problem, but then again, I can rarely credit myself with the gift of foresight.

As the classes were combined, I quickly noticed that my dear students were confused as to why they were mingling with one another. Apparently, they believed it was PARTY TIME. A time to greet each other with vulgar salutations, share candy and gum, and hit one another for no apparent reason. I immediately attempted to put an end to the rising madness, but as usual, my students failed to hear me as they have developed a selective hearing loss to the sounds of my voice. *grrrrr*

As I began to yell.... I mean redirect.... them to sit down and shut their pie holes, Potty Mouth Girl was simply too caught up in the joys of socialization and looked me square in the eye and screamed,

"You're pissing me off!"

Coming from Potty Mouth Girl, this was pretty tame. PMG has some serious emotional problems. She is one of my brightest students, but also one of the most troubled. When she is having a "good day," life is sunshine and roses. But on the bad days .... oh. Not wanting to get into a prolonged battle with the young lass minutes before reading the directions, I simply gave her a look. Not just a look ... a menacing, threatening, fear-inspiring stare. She quickly apologized. This apparently caught the students' attention, as they all stopped talking and settled in.

I bring this up for one reason. With PMG, the results could have been much, much different. One of the complexities of dealing with "emotionally disabled" students is that you can never quite rely on any one course of action, nor can you anticipate their reaction. It's often a delicate dance of interactions, sometimes with unintended consequences. With PMG, sometimes she is simply unable to gauge another person's feelings.

I'm just very thankful that today was not a day in which we confronted that problem.


Johanna said...

Your situation sounds hard! Are you another TFAer?

yomister said...

Actually, a teaching fellow.

ms. frizzle said...

If you're interested in the next teacher-blogger happy hour, drop me a line at ms.frizzle@gmail.com. :-)