Sunday, May 29, 2011


Isn't that a fabulous word?  I am a collector of words.  My friends have all heard me say at one point "isn't that fun to say?"  I love teaching word choice at school and watching my little friends get excited when they find a new sparkle word in a book we have been reading.

Unfortunately I am actually melancholy today.  Friday was our last full day of student attendance.  Monday is a holiday, Tuesday is records day and Wednesday is "report card day".

I work with a tight knit group of women in my "department" (at our level there aren't actually departments and special ed isn't allowed to be our own team).  In their infinite wisdom, the district and school board created a bunch of "involuntary transfers" in anticipation of the opening of our new elementary school.  They exploded our team.  They sent us in as many different directions as possible.  They left the two teachers who have been at our building for less than a year in the same place but they scattered the rest of us over the other elementary buildings.  I am one of five teachers going from our Pre-K building to the other old building.  The only special ed teacher going that way.  I don't think that the girls over there automatically bring balloons and treats for each others birthdays or just know that there is a set of "ears" for every occasion (like antlers, bunny ears, shamrock antennae).  They don't dress up as a themed group for halloween.  At least two of the women and I actually have polar opposite philosophies on teaching.
In previous years my whole group of professionals would get together after school and talk about the needs of each one of the students with an IEP in the building.  We would discuss which of the four teachers' classrooms would best meet their needs.  We knew each others' strengths and weaknesses.  We spend about three hours a day with most of the kids in a pretty low teacher:student ratio.  We KNOW our kids.  We would give our professional recommendations to our administration.  Sometimes they would take it all, sometimes just bits but they always at least listened.  This year we weren't asked at all.  Nada.  The gen ed teachers got to get together for a couple hours, with a sub, and place their kids.  But not us.

My days always get really stressful as I try to get everything done for the end of the year.  Before e-report cards we got a "records" day to finish our progress notes and report cards.  Now that most kids don't need to come Wed to pick up their report cards (since they won't get a paper copy anyway) I had to have all my progress notes done by Friday and my report cards are due by 8am on records day.  I got sick two saturdays ago, got really behind on my personal stuff and my school stuff and I have been working my arse off to get everything caught up.

I am looking forward to my two months off.  I have to take a class for five days in July and I will have to be in starting August 1st to completely unpack my room.  I have three truck loads of my personal classroom stuff in my garage that I need to find a home for.  But other than all that, I can chill.  But I am going to miss my person next year.  I am going to miss my girls next year.  I am going to miss all my little friends next year (some of whom I have had for three years).

I am sure that the people in the office across town who have never seen me teach or interacted with me and my team have a plan.  They did meet with the people in the offices in my building who have come to my classroom once this year and have limited interaction with my team and my students.  I just find it hard to believe.