You did What?

Guess what’s in my garage???

My car!!!

Yes, that’s right people. My husband and I spent four hours cleaning out the garage so my car would fit! Yay us! 🙂

Can I cry on your shoulder?

I have just had a rotten day. A day that makes me want to quit teaching. It actually makes me want to quit life.

I have a student who is in second grade. Her IQ is 60 which is mentally retarded and she’s really really low. She is not able to write her own name, she doesn’t know where she lives, nothing. But she is a really really sweet girl and she tries so hard. Well she’s had some attendance issues and she’s routinely dirty and unkempt and mom has been to court to maintain custody of her. It came to my attention this week that she has been walking home a ridiculously long way all by herself. This is a girl who doesn’t know where she lives, what her phone number is, and would get in a car with a stranger. She is not cognitively able to walk home by herself. In this ridiculously long walk, she is crossing a major road with no assistance. She does not have socks on, she has no hat and she has no gloves. It is 15 degrees out. On Wednesday the bus driver took her back to the barn and waited for someone to come get Z. Mom finally showed up at 6:45, high as a kite and wanted to take her home. At this point in time, rather than changing the bus stop, mom decides to sign a paper stating that Z can walk home all by herself. Mom also informed the bus driver that they are homeless. Thursday night no one is at the bus stop again. So today I had to call Children’s Services. I spent all day on the phone trying to talk to her case worker, her court appointed guardian, FCCS, and the bus driver trying to make sure this little girl didn’t have to get on that bus. Finally FCCS has me call the police to come pick her up and take her to the intake station. Not even five minutes before the police officer showed up, Z’s case worker came. There was some discussion and the case worker ended up taking Z home. She took Z home. To a house, or maybe no house b/c Z says she doesn’t live there. To a place where Z sleeps on a mattress on the floor that she shares with another little girl. To a house where Z is left in charge of her 1 year old brother for extended periods of time. To a house where, when we buy her a new coat, Auntie takes it away from her and gives it to her cousins. To a house where her mom is on drugs and takes the money that Z’s bus driver gave Z to buy books from Scholastic for drugs. Z should have been removed from that house. She should not have been sent home.

How do things like this happen?

Dreams

Thanks Virginia. I was going to share my latest crazy dream with you all anyway, but reading her post tonight reminded me to do it!

So….not last night, but the night before, I had a dream about bears.

Noah and I were at Kings Island and I don’t remember what ride we were in line for, but someone grabbed us and yelled “Tornado!” and shoved us inside a tiny little metal building. So we’re all standing around, cramped in this tiny little room for what seems like forever. (What does this have to do with bears you say? Just wait. It’s coming.) Noah gets tired of waiting and is like, “Let’s go look outside. We’re essentially in a trailer anyway, so being outside can’t be any worse right?” So we go outside and to our left, the sky is massively dark and there’s a huge tornado spinning. Well the car is to the right, so Noah decides that we should make a run for it. While we’re running for the car, we notice another tornado over on our right. But not as big. (Where’s the bear again?) So we get in the car and go to leave and apparently everyone else had the same idea. So we’re waiting in this long line of cars to exit the park. Finally we get to exit and it’s our turn to turn right onto the road and at this point I get fuzzy. I think we were in an accident but I’m not sure. Somehow the car is now gone and we have a bike. One bike. One cheap crappy Wal-Mart mountain bike. And Noah’s riding it of course. And complaining about how the suspension is too stiff and it’s not handling well. So we’re riding, well he’s riding I’m walking, the bike down the curvy road surrounded by woods, and we see a bunch of big green vans sitting by the side of the road. You know the kind of vans that colleges and churches take? So like four of those, empty with their doors open sitting by the side of the road. So we ditch the bike and walk down the road very sneakily wondering what’s going on. As we turn the corner (here it comes!) we see a huge male bear hanging from a tree. Hanging like a suicide in a noose from a tree. And the momma bear is chasing her baby bear around below the body. Well the baby bear sees us and decides he wants to play with us so it starts chasing us. And of course momma is chasing him. We run and try to get away. We end up climbing on a statue of a bear that fell over during the tornado. And the baby bear wants to play with us so he swipes at us as we are climbing and he scratches me and I scream and he falls off the statue. So by now the momma bear has caught up with us and I’m thinking she’s going to attack us and I’m scared. So she climbs up after us and looks at us and says, “My baby seems to like you. Would you like to come home with us and live in our bear community?” So we go home with the bears and live with them until we get bored and decide to go home.

That was seriously my dream. I didn’t make any of that up. Promise.

Wow

Ok, so today this is a rant.

First rant is about school. And the federal government sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Specifically in regards to testing. I have had to give tests for the last two weeks straight. I am a special ed. teacher. Tests are really hard for my kids to begin with. Hell, sitting still for 2 hours is really hard, let alone sitting still for two hours w/out talking and not being able to read the information that you’re being tested in is hard for anyone! So last week we have to take the district’s quarterly assessments. I’m Ok with this. I think the kids should take assessments to see if they are growing. However! However, I think the assessments should be on the student’s functioning level. Especially for special ed. kids. My second graders have to take a second grade test. Which I am not OK with. The reason I am not Ok with this is because the students are not able to read on a second grade level. Yes, I can read the questions and answer choices, but I cannot read the reading passages to them. This is a huge problem. The whole test is based on the reading passage and they have to try to read that all by themselves. They can’t ask me for help. Also, special ed. kids have a really hard time with certain types of questions. The test is full of these types of questions! About information they can’t read! See my problem is, we already know these kids have problems. I’m not saying let’s count them out as non-functioning members of society. Not at all. I’m saying, we already know they are learning at least two grade levels below their peers. We already know that they get frustrated easily. We already know that 9 out to 10 kids labeled special ed. are suffering from ADHD. We already know that we are not instructing them on their grade level, but on their instructional level. And yet we ask them to take a test that is difficult for regular ed. kids. And we ask them to do it for two weeks in a row. Here’s the other part I have a problem with. We spent all last week testing. We are spending today and tomorrow testing too! Are you kidding? If I’m frustrated, imagine how the kids must feel! Argh!!! I believe that I should be held responsible for my student’s learning. But let’s look to see if they made progress. A standardized test does not show progress. It only shows failure. Also, as a side note, the federal government in their infinite wisdom that comes from years of teaching (can you sense the sarcasm?) has decided that not only are we forcing kids to take these ridiculous tests, we’re going to base a teacher’s job on the student’s ability to pass a test. Yes folks, you heard me, the feds are discussing basing my ability to work on the ability of my students to take and pass a test. I strongly encourage you, my wonderful readers, to go back to elementary school and sit in a couple days. You won’t recognize school. When I was in school, we got to learn about things that interested us. We did projects. We put on plays. We did theme units. We had fun. Seriously. In elementary school, we had fun. We learned things by doing and through play. Now, the students learn by worksheet and drill. We don’t even teach them to multiply for goodness sakes! We no longer teach straight up multiplication tables. How can you expect students to learn fractions when they can’t multiply? Wow. Whew. Sorry. I’m going to cut myself off. I could go on forever…

Second mini rant applies to my blog. I really appreciate the new readers! Hi! If you get a chance, leave me a message and tell me how you found me. Thanks! 🙂 But some real weirdos are out there. I had a delete a comment today because it was full of profanity and nasty-ness. I write this blog for me. It helps me immensely to be able to get my thoughts down on “paper” and sort through them. I don’t write this blog to get nasty comments. Are we still in High School here people? If you don’t like what you’re reading, then don’t read it! Geesh!

So…let’s hope that tomorrow is a better day. Full of testing again, but hopefully better. Whew. Thanks for reading 🙂

Ok Ok, the real post!

I thought I would answer some more questions from my adoring fans 🙂 These are from Brandy:

1. FAvourite type of cookie?
2. Would you rather have an Irish accent or would you rather date a guy who did?
3. Favourite type of shampoo?
4. Movie you’ve watched at least 10 times?
5. Favourite juice derived from a fruit?

So here goes:

1. My all time favorite type of cookie is Tag A Longs. You know, the chocolate peanut butter girl scout cookie that you can only get once a year that I consume five or more boxes of? Yeah, that one. Coming in a close second is the white fudge covered oreos that you can also only get once a year. Let me clarify that I do not like oreos in any other form.

2. I would most definitely rather date a man with an irish accent. Mmmmm.

3. Shampoo and I have issues. I find one I like and it only works well for a couple months so then I have find a new type. It’s a struggle. Currently I am using Aussie Moist shampoo and Loreal Vive for long hair conditioner.

4. I have two movies that I can watch anytime, anywhere. There are Rocky Horror Picture Show, (Please tell me you know that one? And if you don’t, we need to make a date to watch it together) and Dirty Dancing, Which I almost have memorized.

5. I don’t drink a lot of fruit juice, but I like something with mango in it. I also like apple just plain or with mango.

Soooooo….since this isn’t a Meme I can’t tag anyone but leave me a comment with your own answers.

Sorry!

This is for Michelle.

I’m sorry I’ve been such a flake lately. Don’t hate me. I heart you and our new friendship. I really did get sick Saturday. And when you’re vomiting AND have cramps? All you want to do is go to bed. We can go see 27 dresses Tuesday night if you want. Deal?

Love,
Your flaky friend.

so…

I was mad for good reason at work. (But what made me even more upset was the fact that I started crying when I was trying to yell. I never used to do that. What’s happened to me?) I’m tired of the adult staff acting like the children that we teach. If everyone was really there to do their job, we would all be fine. But unfortunately we aren’t all there for the same reason. I like to believe that things would be better if I didn’t teach in the ghetto, but the truth is they probably wouldn’t. The problem isn’t the kids. I love my little hood rats. In fact one of them told me today that when he gets his car, and I get old, he’s going to take me to the hood and dress me up all ghetto. Who’s not excited about that? Seriously. I love urban kids. I really do. It’s the urban staff that’s a problem. So….in spite of my possible (and I stress possible) $17,500 loan cancellation if I stay with this urban district for the next two years, I think I may be looking for a job.