…and I sincerely apologize. They’re not “difficult children” they are bright, wonderful spots of sunshine in my otherwise dull and boring life. There. Happy now?
Seriously, I know shouldn’t refer to them as difficult children, even after a week of what felt more like a World Wrestling Federation Smackdown Tapout championship match than it did teaching. I have the owies to prove it, too. We all do, actually. Seriously, spring is hard on my kiddos. So is adolescence.
Anyway, it was pointed out to me in the comments of my last post that my phrasing was less than compassionate and I apologize. It wasn’t meant to be antagonistic or a put down, I was simply feeling the emotional after-effects of a wild week topped off with someone else’s bad parenting skills (they allowed the kid to run amok, rather than keeping her happily occupied at their table).
My supervisor keeps saying I should write a book about my experiences in the workplace. I think that shall have to wait until I’m independently wealthy and therefore do not need that job.
With her permission I can tell you that this week I…
…had my boob groped, pinched, hit, and headbutted;
…had my arm scratched, pinched, hit, and yanked;
…had my shin kicked…repeatedly;
…had landscaping thrown at me (sticks and stones, even small ones, sting);
…had to run after someone who was heading for a gate that had been left open by the grounds crew;
…had to change a diaper on someone who nearly knocked me on my ass;
…had someone fart directly in my face when I bent down to pick up a pencil;
…got to sit in the sunshine;
…got to walk in the park;
…sent a suggestive text to my supervisor instead of to my partner;
…made people laugh;
…kept three people from having meltdowns;
…heard a student say my name for the first time in the three years we’ve been in the same room;
…had same student interact with me on a one-to-one basis with no screaming and actual, you know, INTERACTION;
…saw offhanded compassion when a Gen-Ed told his friend to “shut the fuck up, stupid” when said friend referred to something as “retarded” just as my class walked by;
…witnessed rudeness of the same caliber as Gen-Ed students crowded through a doorway in front of a wheelchair (and the rest of my class);
…watched someone just out of arms reach eat something off the cafeteria floor;
…once again learned the importance of being still, because amazing things can happen when you just wait and watch.
…also learned that there are times when waiting and watching aren’t such a good idea, especially when small projectiles or sticky stuff is involved.
I also witnessed something that will stick sideways in my craw for a long time. A parent was making demands of the teacher, insisting that certain things be done for one particular child at certain times. When the teacher told the parent that those times are already taken up with activities involving the other students in the classroom, the parent said, “I don’t care about the other children, I only care about mine.” This is one of the things that make my job unpleasant.
I understand that parents want the best for their children, but the teachers in that classroom want the best for all our students. We’ll do what we can to make sure every child gets our very best efforts to help them learn and grow, but we can only do so much. There are only so many hours in the school day to accomplish these things, and there are only so many changes we can do while still maintaining some semblance of order for those students who NEED their order to remain unchanged. They are ALL important to us. EQUALLY important, and that’s what pissed the parent off so much. A compromise was reached, some changes were implemented but the parent isn’t thrilled and will be complaining to the principal.
Pretty typical week at my place of employment.