Wow - I can't believe that September is almost over. It's been one of the craziest September's ever.
With my youngest starting Kindergarten, and one of the most challenging classes I've taught in 20 years, I'm constantly exhausted, and ready for a nap.
But this week I felt like there might be light at the end of the tunnel.
So imagine, if you will, a typical grade 2 classroom. The walls are nicely decorated with posters and artwork, the room is bright, with lots of toys, and learning tools to be had. Each desk is neatly labelled with a child's name. All is peaceful, and organized, and... good.
Y'know, just right.
Add one experienced teacher, and a lot of excited children, and all should be set for the year right?
yeah, not so fast.
For some reason, the combination of the chidlren in my class, and the needs that they have made for complete chaos. Here's a typical moment in my room this past month.
Imagine, that the children are cleaning up seatwork, and gathering on the carpet for a lesson. The child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is humming and buzzing to himself on the carpet and flailing around, completely self absorbed and not paying attention to the teacher.
The hearing impaired child has taken off his hearing aid and is whipping it around his head by the cord which is usually pinned to his shirt so he won't loose it.
The autistic child is arguing with his aide in the corner of the room in a very loud and extremely high pitched voice.
The child whose brother is autistic (thus she doesn't get enough of her own emotional needs met at home) and is attention seeking, is sticking her tongue out at one kid, and trying to trip another as he heads to the carpet.
And amongst all this chaos, I am attempting to collect their work, when another child trips and bangs her head on the floor.
I climb pass the mass of children on the carpet, and attempt to calm the poor injured child. I talk to her for a few moments, only to notice that there is a slowly growing chant emerging from the carpet area. I hear "Michael, Michael, Michael, MI-CHAEL, MI - CHAEL, MI - CHAEL.". I look up and see two of my brightest, wonderful, lovely students lying on the carpet, thumb wrestling, as the rest of the class eggs them on!
I lose it!!!
What next?? I think.
I can't take it any more.
You know those little times you get to sit at your desk?? Those five minutes here and there when you can collect field trip money, organize all the collected forms and sort them as to where you need to drop them off, do your attendance, and check that all your papers are ready for the next lesson????
You know those five minutes??
Well, this year, I have NOT had a minute to do this. I'm constantly putting out fires because of all the neediness in my room. The autistic child was having his support time reduced and I was having none of it! Sometimes he takes off into the playground screaming as I'm trying to teach a lesson. And sometimes this happens when his aide is on his coffee break. So I find myself running out into the classroom to make sure he doesn't get hit by a car or something as my school is on a very busy street.
And then, something happens.
Well, last week I took Friday off. I was injured from whiplash, which is another story completely.
Monday was a professional day, so I didn't see my children again until Tuesday.
The kids line up outside before the bell. So after the bell had rung on Tuesday, I went out to hold the door open and let the kids in.
Remember Michael above (MI - CHAEL???)
Well he walks up to me in a calm manner and says, " you were away on Friday, Mrs. Farrell"
"Yes, I was," I reply.
" Were you sick?", he asks.
"Yes,", I reply.
"Well," says Michael, "We missed you."
"Thank you," I say.
"It's nice to have you back, Mrs. Farrell"
I almost broke into tears at this point.
He missed me, they are glad to have me back??? Maybe I might actually be getting through to these kids. Maybe, just maybe, this year will get a little bit better.
Well, this week was better than last, and today was really great. So maybe things are turing around in my class??
Maybe, I might survive thie year after all.
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Anyhoo,, I thought you would all like to see some of my kids work.
So here are many, many, many examples of how we made these fall trees.
We drew with Sharpies, and then watercoloured in the sunset and got ready for the rest.