Tuesday, September 20, 2011

keep calm and carry on....

Maybe life will slow down a bit.

We moved the last bit of stuff out of the old house this weekend.  (not out of the shed or storage area, but out of the house.)  That is good, because now I can focus on putting away stuff at the new house, instead of trying to keep the balance of moving stuff out and moving stuff in.  Maybe sometime around Christmas we will actually be able to park our cars in the garage.

Our renter moved in yesterday.  My stepson's mother.  My husband's ex-wife.  At first it was really a weird proposition. Kind of ironic.  But I think it will be a good arrangement.

Sometimes our priest uses the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation.  In part it says...

Your Spirit changes our hearts: enemies begin to speak to one another, 
those who were estranged join hands in friendship...
Your Spirit is at work when understanding puts an end to strife, 
when hatred is quenched by mercy, 
and vengeance gives way to forgiveness.

When I hear that, it makes me think of this current arrangement.  Things were not sunshine and roses 20 years ago.  But the Spirit is at work in the world and in our lives if we allow it.

Just when I think that I've seen everything at school - teaching in a middle school for all these many years - something happens and I know that I have not.   Yesterday my student with autism was freaking out because he had missed his bus.  "Take a deep breath," I told him.  So he did.  And then proceeded to blow the whole thing in my face.(I wonder if that's what it was like when Jesus 'breathed' on his Apostles!)  If there had been a birthday cake with a 100 candles on it, he would have surely extinguished them all!  Ewwww!!  I politely wiped the mist off of my face with my shirt.  Keep calm and carry on. (I saw that on Suzette's blog a while back....so appropriate!)  One of us freaking out was quite enough.  When I got home, I found my pro-biotics.
I am frustrated with part of my current situation.  There were many cuts in my department last year.  We lost three teacher assistants and a teacher.  Now there are just two of us who remain, but we have about 50% more students spread throughout 4 grade levels.  There are simply not enough minutes in the day for us to provide what they need.  I have three fifth graders (of the 8 who are assigned to me) who are reading below a first grade level.  I know that what little I am giving them is truly not providing what they need.  They NEED to learn how to read.  I am failing them, but even more, our system is failing them.  

I suppose my next step is to start calling parents to let them know that we cannot provide what their IEPs say that we must.  My supervisor's solution is to double-up grades...teach the 5th graders and 6th graders together for example.  But putting 16 special needs kids in a room with one teacher really does not meet any needs, either.  It just lets them say that they are "providing services".  I refuse to play that game...

Sigh.  Keep calm and carry on.

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