Thursday, August 4, 2011

the wild things

I met one of my students yesterday.

My parapro and I were working on a furniture list when I heard people coming down the hall. Our special ed wing is very segregated (there is no through traffic, even) so I knew they were probably looking for us since no one from resource or the older class was there.

Sure enough, the mental health practitioner was leading a woman down the hall. Tagging along behind was a very small boy.

One of my students, who'd been in to see the mental health practitioner. I greeted him (and his mom) and we spoke briefly. He's six, and was very firm that he is not in first grade yet. Fifteen more days. He wandered around the room, and seemed to find it sufficient, but not impressive. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it impressive yet. He said goodbye, and then they left.

My greatest impression was that he was quiet, perhaps shy, and extremely well mannered.

A lot of people I've met talk about the kids in my class like they're demonic. Although I'm sure they have their moments, more than regular kids, they're not demons. Just little kids, some of them with problems bigger than they are. And maybe sometimes they are violent. Or maybe other times they turn on themselves. But, still. Children.

I may have the wild children, but they're still children. If we treat them like animals, they'll act like it.

Anyway, I felt like I didn't get a whole lot accomplished yesterday. The one thing I did get was furniture. We had no student desks, no tables for group work. Now we have a kidney table, two small trapezoid tables, and five student desks. We also managed to switch out the one teacher desk that was falling apart. I'd like to have one student desk per child, but I don't know if we have space. Or how many kids we have (although I should know on Monday.)

That brings me to another thing. Space. Every special ed room I went into during my internships and student teaching (which was a lot, between three placements of my own plus day-rotations through a lot more,) got a classroom that was the same size as a regular room. The classroom I'm in is nowhere near that size. It's maybe a third of the size of a regular first grade room at our school.

There are at least two empty full-size classrooms in the school. I really want one.

Is it impolite to ask?

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