Monday, March 4, 2013

The patience of Job

Today I did an observation of a student who was extremely difficult to deal with -- and he's only in kindergarten (!). When I walked in to the kindergarten classroom, he was standing in the back of the room wailing, taking off his shoes and socks, throwing them at the teacher aide and yelling, "YOU'RE STUPID!" And that was pretty much his M.O. for the rest of the hour. Yes, HOUR. It's a good thing the aides and the kindergarten teacher have the patience of saints. I don't know how they do it. It got me thinking about the crazy charter school where I taught three years ago, how we had students who acted like that but didn't have the staffing, programs or resources to deal with them, so they ended up corralled in the principal's or vice principal's office and were handled punitively. (Not that punishing them really worked.) This kid has pretty serious speech/language issues -- he's almost seven and still mixes up his pronouns, etc. Children with speech/language issues often have behavioral problems because they get so frustrated trying to understand what others are saying and trying to express themselves. My supervisor said, "I wonder if his saying 'no!' so often is a way he's learned to buy time to process what adults are saying to him."

Here is a depressing article on how the sequestration (budget cuts) will affect people receiving unemployment benefits: The article states: "According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, about 3.8 million long-term unemployed workers with federally funded benefits will see about an 11% cut in those weekly benefits."  :(  I'm counting my blessings that I was able to get unemployment as long as I did, unaffected by budget cuts. It was a huge help when I was on it, but it was not enough to live on -- an 11% cut would've made it even worse.

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