As anyone who is a parent would know, December is a very exciting time for children. Now, blend that with trying to teach a bunch of exceptional students and basically you have a dumpster fire that is careening down a hill towards a paper mill. This is what I expect my next week to be haha! And I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. My kids are amazing and I love them so so much but I am preparing myself for a distracting week.
Yesterday we were having a really good day and at the afternoon cash-in, I warned the group sitting at the little table that if they got too loud, I’d take away their ipads. Lately, they have been WAY too loud. So I get started on catching up on work that I need to do and I notice I hadn’t really needed to check in with them so I walked around the mini wall partition (remember it has huge windows to see but the kids can’t really hear me if I’m sitting at my desk) and I snap my fingers and put on a half-angry teacher voice and go “HEY! hey hey hey! Eyes on me!” all 4 of them look up a little bit worried about what I am going to say, so I smile and go “you guys are doing amazing I love you!” and listen to a chorus of “thank you!!!” from all of them as I walk back to my desk haha
New student has been pretty good this week. They haven’t had any support which has been difficult because a lot of staff are still out sick and my class has been understaffed. But we made it through. New student has a new behaviour support plan (BSP), which is amazing because we now have very specific and detailed instructions on how to handle their meltdowns and elopements and things like that. We have started a new tracking system which should be done with an EA but I have been struggling to get it working just by myself while also teaching. I told their senior therapist that the data might not be as accurate as she wants but I’m trying my best. She asked why I don’t have the support person do it and I tell her “out of 10 support people we should have had this week, we have had 1. And all week I haven’t had my regular EA in my class either, it’s just been me” so she understands, the principal knows and understands. But New Student has been having a really good week. Wednesday was a rough day, but they always are and we are prepared for it.
The EA in my class hasn’t been around much. Her student was there on Monday but then Monday afternoon their sister (who attends another school) developed covid symptoms and my student was pulled from class. Their sister tested positive (there are tons of outbreaks in schools right now) so my student will not be back until after the winter break. So my EA has had a lot of free time. This means they are actually kind of annoying. Like a LOT annoying. Interrupting my lessons with silly things like reciting Dr. Seuss books, or asking if I want this and this and this printed and when I am in the middle of doing something I say that I’ll look later but NO it has to be right now and then I forget what I am doing which actually needed to be done. And they also twisted their ankle this week and really hurt it! So they have been having to just sit and have their leg raised and iced most of the week. This is ok because their one student was online and the other student is very easygoing. But it meant that I didn’t have anyone to go outside for recess with me. Legally I need a second adult for the class or I can’t leave the building. So the principal’s husband has been coming out with us, and we have been pulling an EA from another class to come as well. It’s been stressful but thank goodness the week is over.
We also had a Staff Appreciation Breakfast this week! It was after our monthly staff meeting. The principal had muffins and juice and granola bars and fruit cups and oranges. It was really yummy! She also made these hot chocolate snowmen and we each got a $10 Tim Hortons gift card.
So she said we had breakfast and lunch on them. Since my EA was injured and had all this free time this week, they made a card which all the staff signed and we gave it to the principal then as well.
At the staff meeting, new staff were introduced and it was announced that my class will be getting a new EA! I knew about this ahead of time as a possibility but now it is official! They are technically for the new student as part of their BSP but this new EA will be able to help me run direct instruction groups which will make my day SO MUCH EASIER! And I am so excited. They start in January.
This week, I was telling the principal that my Christmas gift to myself was my advent calendar (actually check out a new post on “Things I want” coming soon which tells you my real gift to myself) and mentioned that I had been saving like CRAZY amounts since we don’t get paid over the summer. But even with that, I was able to have some fun money to get this advent calendar. The principal asked if I needed/wanted to work in the summer and I said yes. For my own sanity, I need to work. I can’t do another summer of not having a job! So she said that the school always needs help in the summer with tutors and things and I can work there so that is AMAZING! It means I can have my weekends free and work a regular day and keep up my teaching and patience skills with the students at the school, and also I don’t need to quit a week before the summer is over to go back to my school job, because they already know that hahahaha
Yesterday, a student gave me my first Christmas gift! It was this adorable thing!
The gift included a card that had a little note saying the little box (hippo ornament) and the card were for me. And the rest was to share with the staff as I choose? HAHA The rest was a tin of homemade cookies, which I shared with all the staff that was left at 4pm when I was opening it and still had 8 cookies all to myself when I got home, and yes they were all eaten last night. And then a whole bunch of bath and body products. I immediately gave away two bath bombs because I only have a shower. I took the rest home to go through and see what it was. I opened one container of face scrub and the scent was SO over powering I had a headache for the rest of the night and sneezed for about 5 minutes so violently I couldn’t catch my breath. A big glob fell out onto my blanket which is now being washed. I am keeping one thing of hand cream since I have had it before and I know my allergies won’t be affected and will take the rest of the bag back to work on Monday and have the rest of the staff take whatever they want.
This weekend I will be wrapping student gifts which will go home on Friday with my students, reading and blogging. I have so many drafts which are just titles and I hope I remember what I wanted to say for them. Bill has tagged me in this post, which I promise is coming!! Along with more brother’s wedding details, some reflections on my ongoing faith struggles, and some changes that may or may not be coming in the new year!
Thanks for reading allllll that! have a great Saturday loves!