Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nine Dollars...

in quarters later our Subaru is clean both inside and out. There's something very satisfying about washing a thoroughly grimy car. The past two days have been blessedly free of snow, wind, and rain. Seattle is fortunate to be in the rain shadow of the Olympics and missed the disastrous flooding that hit neighboring communities all the way up to Canada and south to Oregon. I think it was Wednesday morning that we woke up to 3 inches of rain in the 'new and improved'(easier to read) rain gauge that I gave DH for Christmas. Honestly, flying or taking a boat out of here were the only options for three days. I read today in the Seattle Times that I5 is now open in both directions and rail traffic is also in business but it is going to take years and a lot of money for the people along the rivers to get out from all the mud and destruction. Weather havoc and the increasing number of job losses with the Post Intelligencer, Microsoft, and Boeing most recently in the Seattle area, the war in Iraq and the horrors the Israelis are inflicting on the Palestinians (We CAN help!); this has to be the most depressing start of a new year in my lifetime. I feel so fortunate to be sitting in a dry, warm house with food in the refrigerator.

So how was the first week back in the classroom? I would like to say "Sublime" but it fell short of that superlative. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my job, I crave the structure and purposefulness that work gives to my life, I am a serious workoholic at times, I love teaching and I laugh, or at least grin ear to ear, at the things the younguns say everyday. This week's favorite quote: "Five year olds don't need to act their age." I was scratching my head at that one but 'J' explained, "My brother got this game for Christmas and I can play it too. Sometimes I win." Do you get it? It didn't take me long at all since I know the competitive nature of 'J' and his brother. The game's box stated "For ages 8+" and 'J' is only 5. Wednesday brought another gem. "Mrs. G, did you wear your skipping shoes?" On Wednesdays, after Art I lead my LONG line of kindergarteners along the paths outside our school skipping and playing Follow the Leader (middle aged ladies don't always act their age either). Sometimes I forget to wear the right shoes, last Wednesday was one of those days and since the wind was gusting up to 45 mph I was just as happy to forgo a 'skip'. If the week had stopped at Wednesday, the adjective 'sublime' might have fit. But then then my little guy with Sensory Integration Dysfunction came unglued from the first minute upon entering the classroom door and turned my teaching upside down, as well as his chair, and he totally destroyed everything he could on his desk.

Why? what starts it? I have no clear idea. It can be as simple as I asked him to sit down (YES, just to SIT) or to get a piece of paper and he didn't want to, or he gets frustrated with himself and flings his pencil, crumples his work, lays down and kicks the desk or overturns a chair. Before you get the wrong idea; he has a very sweet, loving side too and I think there is a smart boy inside of all this confusion. Sometimes he seems defiant or manipulative and it quickly escalates to beyond his control. I am lucky to have a supportive principal and special ed. teacher and his mother is openly communicates with us. Also, his problems were well documented in his preschool years. I feel sad for this little boy, he has so much anger and aggression and he is only five! I have never had anything quite like this in my 25+years of teaching. Now I am off to reading about FBA and FBPs, for that will be our next step. Wish us luck and more than a few prayers!


Barbara said...

Sometimes I think our only job is to love these children unconditionally.
Out of 20 children in my class only 4 are from a home where they live with their "real" (their lingo) mom and dad.
This is on the rise over the really is sad to me.
Hope you can find some good answers to help your little guy.

Rosemary said...

Glad to hear you are not getting any more snow, rain etc your way.
I am sure the joys far out weigh the bad as a kindergarden teacher. I got a smile out of your students comments.Good luck with the other little guy.

Anonymous said...

Our hopes and prayers sure are with you and this little guy. Must be very hard for him but sounds like he has family love and yours also.


Mrs4444 said...

Those kids are tough! An FBA is a great place to start. Sometimes they reveal things that you never would have considered. Good luck.

Michelle W said...

Hello, cousin! Nice to 'see' you again after a zillion years! Sounds like you have a challenging and rewarding job! That's great!
Nice blog - good to read a little about the lives of my long lost relatives. The internet is so fabulous!