Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesdays are wacky

Wednesdays are my all-kindergarten day. My schedule on Wednesdays looks like this:

1. prep
2. self-contained special needs kindergarten (8 kids, all of whom have special needs)
3. inclusion special needs kindergarten (16 or so kids, about half of whom have special needs)
4. kindergarten I am actually getting to know a little bit
5. lunch
6. ESL kindergarten (24 or so kids, all of whom are just learning English)
7. ESL kindergarten (ditto)

As you can imagine, Wednesdays are a little exhausting. Keep in mind that my certification is not actually in any of the specialty areas of (1) the kindergarten grade, (2) special needs or (3) ESL. Strike three! I'm out!

What's sad is that the kids in their second week of school already know more about their writers' workshop than I do. While I was having them choose paper (and don't even get me started on how I got verbally bitch-slapped for not bringing my own paper to provide for my seventeen classes a week when other teachers had expressly reassured me that there was no need for me to bring my own paper) and work on their own, one of the kids pulled out a date stamp. A little girl at his table, who's clearly Extremely Bright and in actuality would probably teach the class better than I would, calmly said to him: "You need to put that away. The teacher didn't say anything about using the date stamp, she only said to get a piece of paper and a pencil and write your name." In response, I just sort of gaped at them, because that's exactly what I would have said had I not been pre-empted and also paralyzed by my fear of kindergarteners.

I see both special needs kindergartens twice a week. For writing. I "co-teach" the inclusion class with a special ed teacher who is there to modify my lesson for the special needs kids (quotation marks to indicate that what I actually do is say moronic things in front of 5-year-olds and she interrupts me; she is also one of those people who is really hard to get a read on when you're talking to her, so I can never tell whether her questions are actually designed to insult me or not), and yesterday while the kids were "working independently" (quotation marks to indicate that they were actually in varying stages of throwing tantrums, fighting with each other or trying desperately to get my attention by waving their papers in the air and calling, "Teacher! TEACHER!!!"), she turned to me and said bluntly: "Kindergarten doesn't need a writing cluster." Making her the third teacher to tell me that my position in the school is completely superfluous.

Lady, you don't know how much I completely agree with you, but does either of us have enough clout with the administration to break it to them?

1 comment:

proofoflife said...

Hi Miss Brave, I am new to blogging, and stumbled upon your blog. I loved reading your blog! Don't give up ! I have been in your position. I was a cluster for many years running around to teach prek-8th graders and can honestly say that the babies are the hardest. They crave attention and using the pencil is a big challenge for them. Keep your sense of humor, and try to focus on how truly precious they are. You sound like a special, precious teacher! Have a good weekend. Get plenty of rest.