Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"What Do You Do...?"

As most of you know I am an extended day teacher (job2). I have had them all (k-5),but deal mostly with 4th graders (9 and 10 y/o).

I love this job. I love the kids. I love the school-  The pay isn't great and there isn't any benefits b/c I am hourly and ext. gets very little respect from the staff/teachers but it's great 'practice' if you will and looks even better on my resume.

I am in a classroom with 16-18 4th graders, 5 days a week. We do homework (I usually have to re-teach it to them), I have a planned activity at least 2 days a week sometimes 3. The other days I let them free play. They need it. Their days are pretty rigid. The 4th grade team of teachers at the school I work at are awesome. They don't "teach to the test" but they are teaching what these kids need to know for FCAT. I am so impressed on a daily basis with them and they respect me and don't just treat me like a "babysitter".

But thats not why I am writing this, to rave about "my" school and job.

I want to talk about one of "my" kids.

He is a great kid. Very smart, but ALL boy. When I first started back in Early Oct. I was told that he was a bit of a problem child, but then again, at that time MY WHOLE CLASS WERE CHILDREN OF THE CORN PROBLEM CHILDREN.

After meeting him, we'll call him J, I had a feeling about him, but I know from working in child care that you never pre-judge children. Because 9/10 you are dead wrong. So I left well enough alone.

We had minor problems here and there but nothing that I couldn't handle. I wrote him up once or twice. Then things started escalating. You know its bad when mom seeing me walking towards her or gives her "the look" when she arrives to pick J up and she turns and walks the other way.

I hated being the bearer of bad news. I hated being THAT teacher, so I had a sit down with J. We talked about things and so did his mom and his behavior improved, almost overnight.

I was skeptical, but didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. It was lovely. I had peace in my classroom, well besides my only kindergartner, but thats for another time.

Christmas break came and he game me and the 5 other ext. day teachers a holiday mug and he was very cordial. He was like a changed boy. I loved it. Before he left on that Friday I said "J I hope this is the young man that returns in 2011" he smiled and assured me it would be.

Here we are 11 days, 2 (school) weeks into 2011 and THIS WEEK ALONE, he has 2 handed, pushed my only kindergartner into a very large, mud puddle, in front of the DEAN (I was so mortified) and kneed another boy in the private parts.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Mom and I had about a 20 minute convo today in the parking lot. I was already pinned out so I felt as if I could talk more freely with her. It was a good talk and I hope I get the sweet boy I know is in there back. If not I am going to have to move him out of my class, per my boss. I would hate to give my coworkers a problem child but it is what it is.

This job wares me out, mentally, emotionally and physically, b/c I love each and every one of, not only "my" kids, but the other kids too. If there is a problem I fret about it at home too. Like one of my girls told me that she hates going home b/c her mom constantly yells and doesn't respect her at all (this was after a talk I had about respect). I felt so bad for her. I hug her every chance I get. Another one was worried that when the new baby came she would not be loved anymore and forgotten, I reassured her that was NOT the case.

I think about these kids 24/7. I love them. This is how I know I chose the correct field to persue.

I just wish I would have realized this 7 years ago, when I first started school. But I am enjoying getting my Masters. I don't think I would have done as well 7 years ago.


Keep up in between posts, I Tweet , A lot.

-Kandid Kelli

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