School started last Wednesday and I am pretty much wiped out at the end of the day. Although I have had so much material for great posts, I had little desire to type them up. But I do have a few stories from my first week of school that will help you better understand why I am so tired!
The first day went as follows: my morning started off with 15 children. 5 of which were in hysterics missing their mothers. I had three moms, a father, and a grandmother in my class all day watching their children. I had one girl who wants to do her own thing at all times including getting up during circle and going over to the "kitchen" to play. I had 4 mothers tell me that under no circumstances can my male assistant take their daughters to the bathroom. 1 was rationale the rest were not. The rationale mother explained that she teaches her child that men and boys should not touch or look at her private parts so she wouldn't feel comfortable with the situation. This issue was ongoing throughout the week. I spoke with my mentor, the supervisor and finally the principal. The principal had to call her superior to figure out an ultimate plan. Through all of it, I felt extremely horrible for my assistant. He is a wonderful man and an amazing assistant. He is great with the kids and I feel 100 percent comfortable leaving him alone with the class if I have to run an errand or do paper work. Furthermore, he has two daughters of his own and has been an assistant in the school for 12 years. It is so sad that our world is such a disgusting and perverted place that a good person like that has to suffer. In the end the principal placed the floater assistant in my class as a second assistant because there was no possible way that I could take all those girls to the bathroom on a regular basis. One girl is completely toilet trained, one is somewhat but needs to go to the bathroom every 1/2 hr and the other two wear pull ups. crazy...
Back to the girl who wants to do her own thing. I can tell she is going to be an ongoing problem throughout the year and her mother is not going to be on my side at all. Last year I had the best parents ever! This year I guess I am paying the price. The first conversation I had with this girl's mother was something like this
mom- "my daughter doesn't listen much. But it's the age."
No, not really mom....but okay. The mother was right about one thing, she does not listen!! So yesterday she took her snack out and proceeded to drink her milk out of a sippy cup. This girl is a typically developing child (my class is integrated so not all of them are) and is 4 years old and in the universal pre-k program. I do not allow anyone to drink from sippy cups in my class but even more so someone like this. I told her that in school we drink from a big girl cup and poured her milk into a plastic cup. She took her cup and attempted to throw it in the garbage. Every time someone tried to put it in front of her, she pushed it away. When a teacher attempted to talk to her she turned her head and ignored the teacher. For the rest of the morning she acted completely defiant in all ways. I wrote the mother a note in the communication notebook letting her know what occurred. I explained why we do not allow sippy cups from a speech therapist's point of view but also explained that we promote independace in our children and part of that is drinking from a cup. (etc, etc.) I spoke with her about it after school as well and she was so defensive. "I would appreciate if you would tell me things first before my child...." "oh...she didn't know the rules, that's why she got upset, right honey?"
The girl kept throwing her backpack down and stomping on it and her mother kept telling her how silly she was being.
In the morning, today, we discussed the matter further and it seemed to be okay until I read her response in the communication notebook:
(I wish I had the exact words...)
My daughter is very smart but also very sensative. She gets very upset when people are too tough with her and I think you are very impatient with her. She did not know she could not have a sippy cup....blah blah blah....
please don't make my daughter feel badly in the future....blah blah blah.
I brought the note straight to the principal and called the mother to set up a meeting after school. The problem was fixed in the conversation instead. It boiled down to the fact that the mom thought we were scolding her child for doing something that she didnt know she couldn't do but in fact we were addressing the behavior that resulted from us telling her she couldn't drink from the sippy cup. Once that was clarified the mother was okay. But today the child was completely defiant once again. During breakfast she had yogurt in her hair and an assistant tried to wipe it out and she wacked her hand out of the way. Another assistant praised her for sitting nicely and attempted to give her a sticker and she grunted and got angry. I keep having to let her know that she should use her words because we don't know why she is upset/ignorning, etc. We shall see what this will bring...
Some interesting things that happened at the end of my day:
On my way home I had to make a stop. I went to pull into the only spot near the store when I noticed a woman standing in the spot waving me on. "it's taken..." she said. After the day I had you wouldn't be surprised that I rolled down my window and said"I really don't think you are allowed to do that."
I came home from shoe shopping with Estee and I saw a woman staring straight at a tree on my front lawn as if there was someone there that was talking to her. I looked at my downstairs neighbor's window in hopes of seeing someone there that may be communicating with her. Nope. She said something and then I realized who she was talking to. A squirrel. When she noticed me starting at her she apologized. What was she apologizing for? talking to the squirrel? talking to the squirrel on my property? being in my way or just being crazy?
I was taking Estee for a walk and when I got to the corner of a busy intersection I heard someone screaming in a way that sounded like they were also crying "why did you do thaaaaaaaaaat?!!!?" It took me a while to figure out where it was coming from and it was a woman in a car stopped at a light of the intersecting street, on her cell phone. I understand that she was upset. I get upset sometimes too when I am on the phone in the car but for goodness sakes, roll up your window, everyone was staring at her.
So all in all it's been a rough week. A really rough day...
could use some rest, and some cheer!