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Fear & Loathing in Special Education

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The Inevitable Happened

Posted 04-16-2011 at 05:55 AM by Speced9

It finally happened. Frustration got the best of me. After 16 years, I finally called out my classroom aide.

For those of you unfamiliar with my aide, you can get some background info by reading this past thread. For those of you who don't like clicking links in blog entries, I'll give you the short version.

My aide is a TERRIBLE LISTENER.

I've had sixteen years of experience working with an adult who doesn't pick up on the same directions and information that my K-2 students with disabilities do. Though it's a trite thing to say, I wish I had a nickel for every time she's asked me a question about something I've already gone over with the kids numerous times, or flubbed up a lesson for a child she's working one on one with.

It finally happened though. I went off the deep end. Annoyance and sarcasm came bubbling up and there was nothing I could do about it. I'm guessing that it's because this is my last year working with her since I'm changing positions next year. Annoyance and sarcasm are well known for seizing opportunity.

So, here's the skinny-
Today we were planting soybeans. I had a cute little book for the kids to make that showed the steps we would take to plant our seed. It had the steps in sequence with one-word descriptions underneath. The first page showed a hand getting some soil out of a bag. Underneath the picture was SCOOP. The next page showed the hand patting down the soil in the cup. It said PAT. The rest of the pages said, POKE (a hole), DROP (the seed), COVER and WATER.

So, there you have it. The simplified steps for planting a seed.

SCOOP-PAT-POKE-DROP-COVER-WATER

I went over the book numerous times with my class, then had them read the book as we were doing the actual planting. It was information overkill. Every child, from age 5 to age 9 regardless of disability knew the steps and the wording for planting their seed. Everyone had it down except my classroom aide.

As students were doing the actual planting with me, I had the rest of the class cutting the same book pages and putting them in order so that they would have their own copy of the book to take home along with their planted bean.

About halfway through the second group, my classroom aide (who was about five feet from where I was helping students plant their beans), was helping a student. She asks me,

"Does the PAT page go at the beginning, or at the end?"

I'm sure my jaw dropped. That probably helped the annoyance and sarcasm come bubbling out. What I was thinking and what I actually said in response were two different things. I was thinking,

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE F$%#ing KIDDING ME!"

but what I actually said was,

"I'M NOT TELLING YOU!"

My aide looked surprised and said something to the effect of, "Why?" to which I responded,

"YOU SHOULD KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT! THE KIDS KNOW!"

I then proceeded to ask a student in my class to tell her the answer. Yeah, I know, big mistake.

That's when I could tell she was very upset with me. She continued to work with the child until her lunch time. I felt a little embarrassed over my unprofessional conduct, so I said to her, "Miss Jones, I apologize for putting you on the spot back there. It's just that I went over the steps at least a half dozen times so I assumed you were listening just as the children were."

Her response?

"I didn't get much sleep last night."

Hmm.... it makes me wonder if she hasn't had a full night's sleep in the last sixteen years.

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Comments

  1. Old Comment

    you are a saint

    How you ever made it 16 years is beyond me! It's high time you spoke up! Some of the stories you've told about her have been amazing.

    Good luck next year in your new position. Can't wait to hear all about it .
    Posted 04-20-2011 at 08:28 PM by newspedteach newspedteach is offline
 


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