Monday, April 21, 2008

Argggghhhh. . .

Update 4/23/08
You all have no idea how much you've encouraged me. Your prayers were felt. Yesterday was fine--which was kind of scary. I even got a couple of hugs, and he is on level 1 because of behavior the previous day (not because he was disobeying me....because of later incidences).
Today we worked and he has to work for 4 hours cumulative before he can return to the classroom. I was trying to explain the amount of time he had left...which was really good, but he misunderstood and started throwing a fit a couple of times, but he calmed down after 1 warning from me. Trying to make him see the things he is getting upset about are little things. He spent time with the psychologist this morning. I met the Dr. and he is concerned that I have no training (for my protection). Whatever. He quizzed me on hypothetical happenings and what I would do. Guess I passed.
The child was yelling when the Dr. was in the room and the Dr. said, "Hey, (name) that makes my ears hurt." I thought...I don't think that (name) cares if your ears hurt!
Anyway, Milly has it pegged. We're all about the "feelings" and the "feel good" etc., and not the accountability...and school is the one place these kids could have a stable existence...and the school gives away the security by giving the kids the power.
Anyway, thanks all. Blogworld rocks.

Okay....I've had about enough of the fun-at-school-for-very-little-pay. I was so out of it, I ran a red light today--no one around, but I was driving my husband's car, just dropped him off at the airport. Strange intersection, strange car, and didn't want to slam on the brakes, so went ahead. Light turned red, I was entering the intersection. Camera in operation, so it will probably take me 4 days to pay off a ticket. I haven't had a ticket in 22 years. Welcome to defensive driving. Serves me right. Red flag to pay attention. You all pay attention, too, 'k?

Anyway, they have stuck me with this emotionally disturbed child at school for around 3.5 hours a day. I always get put with the disturbed ones. I'M A SUB!!!! No other aide has him--or has EVER had him--for that length of time. He had a horrible weekend, violence in the family, and both parents arrested. Stepfather held knife to his little brother's neck. This kid told the stepfather that if he hurt his little brother, he'd kill him.
This kid is 9 years old. I know this is awful. But the school needs to be a safe, consistent, firm, and loving (truthful loving, not the fake variety) place for him.
Why am I in charge here? I watched this little fellow manipulate, disobey, hit kids, throw fits, break the rules, go into hiding, run, etc., in the halls. We're not supposed to chase him. We were hunting him down in the halls and he appeared behind me. I asked him what he was doing.
"Hiding from all of you."
"Let's go to the Diagnostic lab. Your teacher is looking for you."
He starts running in the hall toward the lab.
"Stop running. Walk."
"No! I don't have to listen to you."
"Yes, you do, and don't speak to me like that."
He stops in front of the fire extinguisher. He opens the door. He slowly starts reaching in. I'm half a hall away.
"Stop. Get your hands off of that."
"Yes. Close the door."
I'm up with him; he pulls his hand back. I close the door. The teacher comes up the hall. He runs to her. I say, "Stop running. Walk." The teacher says, "Where have you been sweetie? We've been so worried about you."
He throws out the lower lip and says, "I want to talk about this weekend." She smiles at me, knowingly. He wants to talk about it--isn't that wonderful? I can't say a word because he's standing there. I tell her when we're alone that he was about to pull out the fire extinguisher. She smiles and says, "Hmmm, I would say, when he does things like that: 'We don't want to do that--that would cause a lot of problems.'"

Kids like this don't scare me. They trouble me. He has done, however in a roundabout way, most of what I've ever told him to do.
The counselor was standing there and looking at me condescendingly. After all, what could I possibly know about handling kids like this? It's true, I haven't been trained in the "new" ways. So, why am I put in this position? Because no one else wants to do it, that's why.
Some folks think, maybe you're there to make a change.
Some's a God thing that you're there for those kids.
I think I'm being taken advantage of.
I'm taking a breather tonight, and praying about this mess. It's destroyed what little joy I was getting out of being there.


Missy said...

Monday's must be so tough, getting these kids back, like this one, after a couple of horrid days at home.

I was one of those who ran into my teacher's (and favorite subs!) arms every Monday, near tears, ready to feel loved again. They are still angels to me - I hope I didn't run them ragged. :)

karen said...

No problem here with loving and hugging them. I do have a problem with letting them manipulate.
I doubt you were a trouble-maker, right?

karen said...

Did my post sound uncharitable? :-(

Milly said...

>Did my post sound uncharitable?

No my dad had to be a fire breathing dragon and a dad to some of the kids where he worked. He held them accountable for their actions. I’ve been told by several that he saved their lives. I’m praying for all of you.

karen said...

Thanks, Milly. We need prayers.

Kansas Bob said...

If you haven't heard these words today.. here they are:

Thank you Karen!

Reading your post reminds me that often evil does not triumph in this world because of souls like you. Your love and loyalty to our Father is a great thing to see.. even when work is bad!

Also, don't be to hard on yourself ... my favorite musing these days is: the challenge to be content with a season of life that ?!$#@ -- :)

Blessings, Bob

bjk said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Bob....THANKS for what you are doing!!

Don R said...

I had to deal with these students quite a few times in my 34 years of teaching. Seems like I was always put near the special ed room. I think it had to do with being a male (there weren't that many in my junior high). I never learned to successfully deal with kids like them. It was a real challenge for me. Bless you for doing it as a Sub.

Missy said...

No, K, I wasn't a troublemaker but the rest of my siblings left me a legacy to overcome. :)

You did not sound uncharitable, just frustrated. It was my intention to encourage. I was not a troublemaker in part because my kindergarten teacher (who I still met for lunch periodically before the move!) was lovingly tough on me. I was very manipulative with boundaries. She taught me that I could count on and trust some adults.

I hope today has been a blessing for you.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

WHAT? Are these people insane? Don't they know jack crap about what kids need? (um, this is coming from a mom who is way too permissive with her own kid so feel free to ignore my rant). I agree with you on all of this. The "new ways" are enabling troubled kids to get worse, not better. I am impressed with and admire you and wish all the teachers there would get a clue. I am sorry they are taking advantage of you, even though you are the best person to deal with the students.

Robert said...

i agree with all the wise peopel above. You sounded frazzled karen but your caring concern amd love for those kids shines through, especially in the actions you took with the one. I hope the other teachers and principal will get a clue so you won't feel manipulated and so it can be a place where you find enjoyment and vibrance once again. Keep smiling, I'm sure you touch many without seeing the effect you have outwardly just yet. Awesome job you do karen!!!

Anonymous said...

Karen’s situation is the way they’ve been handling things for a while. Discipline and holding them accountable is out, trying to understand them and allowing them to run all over you is in. Too many lawsuits, psychologist, and parents who just don’t want to make little Johnny do anything due to their self centered selves. It’s a huge problem in the juvenile justice system now. The counselors are told that they just don’t understand the kids. What’s to understand about making a kid stop do something wrong?

Just keep swimming Karen. Thank you for being a person who holds them accountable.


Milly said...

I’m glad that the day was better and I’m glad the Doc was making sure you were able to protect yourself. I worked with a little guy who could go from sweet to angry in a heartbeat. I was bitten and hit a few times. Poor little dude sure had some struggles.
My dad and a friend worked with kids. I’ve heard some real sad stories about how the kids can act now. When dad worked he made the kids fix what they had broken by teaching them, he made them get out of bed every morning and he held them accountable. These days if they don’t want to get up they can’t make them. The counselors are told that they don’t understand them. My friend’s answer to that is “Since when is ignorance a prerequisite for these kids?” The parents, who clearly weren’t raising them right, throw a fit if the little darning troubled teen doesn’t get what it wants.”

Keep trying