Thursday, April 30, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted in so long, but I was trying to finish a one-act play by the April 30th submission deadline, and -- I succeeded! Well, sort of -- I just e-mailed it at 1:20 AM, which is technically one hour and 20 minutes post-deadline, but hopefully they'll let it slide. Whew!

Happily, I don't have to get up early tomorrow because I quit my tutoring job with my preschooler, since she was absent ALL THE TIME. Well, okay, "only" 3/4 of the time, but that was still way too much. I literally didn't see her once last week. The one day she came to school was Thursday, the one day I wasn't scheduled to see her! But over the five days I did work with her in April, I made $540 extra I would not have earned otherwise. That part was worth it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring break is over. *sob*

I had off from all my tutoring/teaching jobs last week for spring break. It was so lovely. I didn't miss working one bit. Is that a bad sign?? :/ I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow -- well, it's mostly working with the pre-schooler that I don't look forward to, partially because I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing with her. She's the first pre-schooler I've ever "taught." And partially because she's the only job I have to get up early for, and I really don't like getting up early. Also, she's routinely absent a couple of times a week, so every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I drag myself out of bed, knowing there's a 40% chance she won't show up, so I will have gotten up early for nothing and not get paid. I live so far out in Brooklyn that it doesn't make sense to go all the way home, just to turn around and go to my job at the high school, so I end up having to just hang around Manhattan for a couple of hours. There are certainly worse places to hang around than Manhattan, but most days I would've appreciated being able to sleep in.

But at least I will have this summer completely off (except for job interviews). Wonderful. :) The Nicest Guy in the World and I took a quick 2-day trip to Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday, which was a lot of fun. We went to most of the memorials, and saw the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution at the National Archives. The weather was beautiful for walking around, so we really lucked out!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Small child, big problems

My 4-year-old student was sweet the first day I met her, to the point where I wondered why her teacher had even referred her for Special Education Itinerant Teaching (SEIT) services. The second day I went, she was absent. The third day I went was last Monday -- and she was terrible! She didn't want to sit in morning circle, she wouldn't share with another child at the listening station, she roamed from station to station at choice time, staying less than three minutes at each one.

"She was so annoying!" I complained to the Nicest Guy in the World that night.

"Isn't your job to make her less annoying?" he asked.

"Yes, but I don't know how!" I wailed. All I could think was that she had come to school late, rubbing her eyes like she was exhausted, so I thought maybe she just hadn't gone to bed early enough the night before.

Then on Tuesday she came on time, and she was great. She picked out and read a few sight words correctly, and she even played a whole game of Candyland with me for 25 minutes. But on Wednesday she was absent. On Thursday she apparently came to school -- she has counseling Thursday mornings, so that's the one day I don't see her -- but when I showed up on Friday, she was absent again. The teacher told me the girl is absent a lot, routinely missing a couple of days of school per week.

Then the teacher said, "They're staying at a shelter, because of domestic violence against her mom. They have a lot of problems."

Sigh. :(

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Last Wednesday was my first day as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) for a 4-year-old girl, working with her one-on-one while she's in her preschool classroom. She's mandated for 10 hours of SEIT a week, which sounds like a lot to me, so I was worried she would have all these problems and be really hard to handle. Her IEP goals are things like, "She will sit and listen to a story for 5 minutes 80% of the time," so I thought, geez, this girl can't even sit and listen for five minutes??

But I met her on Wednesday, and she's sweet. She has a lot of energy and loves to talk, but when I first arrived, she was in a music class, and she did fine listening to the teacher's directions and taking turns playing instruments. The letter in the file from her teacher, which was only written a few weeks ago, said she'd only just learned to write her name, and that she doesn't know any letters other than the ones in her name. But on Wednesday we played an alphabet bingo game with another little boy, and she could name every letter. The only ones she confused were the W and the M.

The funniest thing was her reaction when I told her my name. Her eyes got wide, and she said, "Your name can't be Vicky -- you're white!"

I said, "Sure it can. Vickies come in all colors."

She digested this information for a few seconds, then announced happily, "I'm Puerto Rican!"

When we were in the hallway later going to another room, she suddenly called out, "Vicky!" and went running into the arms of another teacher -- who is Asian. Guess that's where the confusion came from. ;)

Friday morning would've been my second day with her, but she never showed up -- I guess she stayed home sick -- so after waiting around for half an hour, I left. I won't get paid for that, either. Hopefully she'll be there tomorrow.