Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day #29

There are 151 school days left this year, and I feel like I have nothing left to give. The Week in the Woods drained the shit out of me, and for three days this week I was a total zombie teacher, somehow going through the motions. Typically I wake up at 5:00 or 5:30 am and just get up; this week I've been waking at 5:30 and thinking "it can't really be morning yet, I need about 10 more hours of sleep."

But whatever, I persevere, which is one of the sanctified Character Traits at our school. And lots of staff have been out sick the last few days with some dreadful sinus infection--a couple have ended up with pneumonia. I really don't want any part of that mess, because once I get sick during the school year I'm sick until May.

I went to my GP Monday for a check-up and my BP was 100 over 62. Not bad for an old fart!

Today I stayed after school with Talaria. She's a new transfer in, a very slight and trembly 6th grader. She's got a peculiar intensity about her; if I mention something she doesn't understand or know she'll literally go into shaking fits. I tested her reading level and it was off the charts--probably around 10th grade! Today we took a standardized language usage test to check levels of the kids and she freaked out because she didn't know some answers. "That's OK," I told her as she shook and wiped tears off her cheeks with the tattered sleeve of her blue hoodie. "This test shows me what you know--it doesn't count for your grade! And, if you are doing well, the computer makes the test harder by giving you more difficult questions. So if you don't know stuff, it means you're doing well!" She didn't believe me, and freaked out because she wasn't finished by 3:30 dismissal, and I stayed with her until she finished the test at 4:00, and she got the highest score in the 6th grade, and her score would have been in the top five in the 7th grade as well.

Her mom dropped by and said "She's on meds for anxiety, and we just decreased her dose. Have you noticed any behavior problems?" Aside from crying over standardized tests and freaking out about everything? No problem? My 6th grade class is a mess: 11 IEPs out of 24 kids, and now 3 kids who are medicated for ADHD or anxiety on top of the special ed load.

Thursday and Friday are Professional Development days. Back at the March or the Book I'd have called out sick, because mandatory City-wide PD is a waste of any sentient being's life. But my school does pretty useful in-house PD, so I'll go. I don't have to be there at 6:30 as usual, and I can leave at 3:30 instead of 5:00. I fully intend to do so, because I am wiped out, and ready to dry my own tears on a piece of tattered clothing.

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