Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Doesn’t Hit Hard

Those three words, “doesn’t hit hard” were on an IEP of a new student. “Doesn’t hit hard,” the student’s former teacher wrote. She wrote it in bullshit ink.

It was the first day of school with the students, and while many of our kids were with us last year, we had a handful of new students come in this year and it was chaotic. The day before the students arrived, the teacher and paras in my room all had a chance to look over the files for each child and plans were made. Schedules were filled, altered, scrapped, reorganized, and scrapped again. Concessions were made and compromises followed suit.

Finally, a workable solution was put forth and the world smiled upon my classroom.

Then the administration threw in a monkey wrench and we had to start all over again. Those damn clowns changed the master schedule three times before the final one was handed down. There are rumors that it will happen again, but they’re trying to assure us that it will be in the best interest of the students.

Fucking with schedules in the gen-ed group makes enough chaos, but fucking with the Sp-Ed gang? Oh, now that’s taking bat shit to a whole new level of crazy. These kids rely on us knowing what we’re doing; what they’re supposed to be doing; and making sure they are where they need to be at the proper time. That’s not easy to do when the rug keeps getting pulled out from under us and we have no idea where we are, much less where we’re supposed to be at any given moment.

Toss in fragile children, none of whom take change well, and you have large red handprints caused by a child who is escalating into a full blown fit and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. You can only do your best to keep them from hurting themselves or another student. It really doesn’t matter if you get hurt in the process, just keep the kids safe.

“Doesn’t hit hard” would NOT leave large red handprints on my chest and arms, or my pinky joint sore and swollen. “Doesn’t hit hard” would not leave round red marks from a very pointy elbow on my arms, either.

I’m sure once we get to know the students better and can figure out what is BS and what is truth in the files, things will go a lot better.

But I think the best part of the day came when it was discovered that my little angel was enrolled in what they call “Leadership” classes, where they take at-risk students, mix them with honors students, and lead the rest of the student body to success. Needless to say, THAT schedule was fixed straight away.


  1. Bleagh. I wish y'all had the program specialist who put Jeffrey's IEP and file together last year. This year, it was a honed weapon. (Not, you understand, that they used it at first.)

  2. I don't know how anyone can work with children all day let alone special needs one. You are an angel here on Earth girl. My nephew is special needs, and is also violent when things are askew. Here's to hoping those jackass "higher ups" get their shit together so everyone can begin a fresh start.

  3. I agree with Dark Mother - you are an angel and for a multitude of reasons. I admire you so much for doing the work you do. It is exhausting and often thankless. But I'd like to thank you right now. Thank you, Karen. You ARE making a difference!


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