Saturday, June 15, 2013

Long Time, No See!

Hey, is anyone there? Does anyone still want to read this?
I disappeared without a trace back in December, right after blogging about yet another change that had taken place where I was working. The little boy I was working with as a 1:1, Taz, was transferred to the special education room.
And really, after that, I guess I just sort of lost hope. I don't want to spend a lot of time moping and complaining about it. Let's just say that it was a very, um, traditional school, with a lot of focus on sitting down, being quiet, doing the work you are told to do, and not asking extra questions. Lets say it was a school that believed that, instead of finding ways to help a very active, kinesthetic first grader get the most out of school, they should give him more and more consequences for being active, until Taz started to lose his love for school and started having tantrums and refusing to do things. Let's just say this school was not a good match for Taz or me.
In the end, the principal told me that they would not continue my employment even if I wanted to continue working there next school year, that I was no good at working with kids with behavioral issues, and that I may be better off working with "severe and profound kids." (His words, not mine.) So I finished off the year, said goodbye to Taz and the few friends I had made at that school, and slunk away with my tail between m legs.

The good news is, shortly thereafter, I got my first real teaching job. The bad news is, it is only for the summer. Remember last summer I was a 1:1 aide for a little guy named Billy at an ESY program? Well, they hired me back... this time as a teacher! Starting next Wednesday, I am going to be teaching 9 second and third graders with intellectual disabilities.


And nervous.

I only found out the details about the kids a week ago, and I spent the past week frantically working out lesson plans and activity ideas. Of course, I can;t completely plan that much, because even though I have the kids' IEP goals, you know that when I actually meet the kids and spend time with them, the whole plan will have to change! I'm making my plans really flexible... I am actually planning by sticking Post-It notes in a notebook so it can be changed very easily.

On Monday, I am going over to the program to start setting up MY CLASSROOM! I will post another blog entry then.

I am really hoping this will help me get a real job for next school year. The fact that they hired me back as a teacher, after seeing me work as an aide, has to say something positive about me, doesn't it?

I hope?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Am Kind Of Getting Sick Of First Days!

Well, friends... If you've been reading this blog since I first started it, not long ago, you may be familiar with my many "First day" posts. There was my first day of student teaching internship at the preschool program, on January 17 of this year; my first day of regular student teaching on February 21, and my first day at the summer school program on June 28.
And then, October 10 was my first day as an aide at Apple School, where I currently work. I was hired to work with a 3rd grader with Cerebral Palsy, but when I arrived for my first day of work, I learned I'd be an inclusion aide for a first grader with a behavioral disorder. But then, on October 30, it was decided that the child I was working with no longer needed an aide, and I was switched over to working with another first grader. So I had another first day.
After working with Toko for a little over a month, I went out of town for a week on a family trip that we'd planned on long before I got this job. I knew that that week there was going to be an IEP meeting for Toko, and that they were going to try to convince his parents to allow him to move to the self-contained special education class. I doubted the parents would agree to it, and I assumed that, even if they did agree, Toko would be transitioned slowly. I imagined he might move to the new classroom after winter break.
Yesterday was my first day back.
As I walked through the front door, I ran into the resource teacher who has been the case manager for both Wyken and Toko. She told me, "Toko is in the special needs class now, so you'll be working with him in there all day long. I have to be at a meeting, so I don't have any time to talk."
Since I didn't even know where the self-contained class was located in the building, I went to my very first classroom and talked with Mr. Shizuko. He knew about the change, and he let me know that I wouldn't be working with Wyken at all any more. He also told me where the special ed classroom was.
I went down to the special education room and got the rest of the story. The special ed teacher, Mrs. Peasgood, explained to me a little more about my new job. Basically I now intercept Toko as he puts his things away in his original classroom, bring him down to the special ed classroom for reading, math and spelling, shuttle him to the first classroom for things like social studies and science, take him to gym and music and art with his original classmates, and then bring him back to the special ed classroom for the last hour or so of the day to do work and special activities in there.
Although I am getting a little tired of completely starting over, I am actually really happy with this newest classroom, for Toko's sake. It is a very small class consisting of only four other children, all of whom also leave the classroom at various times to do things with regular ed classes. There is a classroom aide, in addition to the teacher. Most of the subjects are taught either in very small groups of two or three kids, or individually. The environment is very calm, and very positive. I have never heard Mrs. Peasgood, or the classroom aide Mrs. Black, speak harshly to a child or glare at them.
And I can really tell that Mrs. Peasgood cares about the kids. She really wants to educate him. She believes that Toko has more abilities than the other teachers thought. I totally agree with that. Whenever I've worked one-on-one with Toko, he's surprised me with the things he's been able to do and understand. But whenever I mentioned this to the other teachers, they looked at me like I was off my rocker! Mrs. Peasgood lets Toko take breaks and ride on the schooter (the little, flat kind that gym classes have, not a razor scooter!) He rides up and down the hall and gets his energy out, so he's more able to settle down and focus when it's time to work. And she just talks to him so kindly. It makes me happy to hear someone actually being friendly to Toko, instead of being exasperated with him!
I feel like I will really be able to enjoy my job and get things done, from now on.
But on the other hand, do I even dare relax and get comfortable? If I start settling in, you know they're going to announce that Toko doesn't need an aide any more, and send me packing to another classroom!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weird Moments With Taz

OMG! Have you noticed that, as of late, I've been starting to get comfortable with my newest job? That I've been starting to enjoy it? That I've been getting to use some of my own teaching ideas?
Yep. The powers that be at my school must have noticed it too.
Yesterday I found out that the school has an appointment with Taz parents next week, and that at this meeting, they are going to attempt to persuade the parents to accept a self-contained special ed classroom placement for Taz. If his parents agree to it, Taz could be moved to the new classroom as early as the very next day!
On one hand, this would be great for Taz. He'd really benefit from being in a smaller classroom, with teachers who could really concentrate on his unique needs, instead of just being the most problematic student in a classroom of twenty-five first graders.
On the other hand... WHAT ABOUT ME?
I don't want to be selfish, but first of all, I don't want to start all over again in another classroom. And second of all, I've really been enjoying working with Taz! I feel like there is a lot I can do to help him! And he really is a nice kid. Just so happy all the time. Well, almost all the time. Sometimes, when he starts getting tired of my "redirecting" him, he looks at me and says, "Don't you need to go help in Mr. Shizuko's class now?" He gets kind of upset when I have to spend an entire day in a different classroom. I try very hard to have as many positive interactions with him as possible, and I think this has helped make him feel comfortable with me. Which was my goal originally, because I think kids learn best when they're comfortable. And now it seems sort of mean (to both of us!) for me to have to turn him loose again.
There is the chance that I will still be working with Taz, even if his parents accept the self-contained classroom. Of course, different people in the school tell me different things. Taz's current teacher says that I'd probably accompany Taz to his mainstream subjects, and possibly also help him in his self-contained room. But another teacher told me that there would be no reason for me to work with Taz any longer, since the special ed classroom has it's own aides already.

On a funnier note, the other morning when Taz got to school, he excitedly told me that he'd written me a note. He showed me a piece of notebook paper with a bunch of letters on it. Taz can write all of the letters of the alphabet very nicely, but he can't really spell or form sentences on his own, so his note looked something like, "DMSSRSFEUNEAHOND."
So, I asked Taz to read it to me.
He took the note, looked at it, and read aloud, "Dear Miss Read. You need a husband. Love, Taz."
(He then added, "And also two sons!")
Uh, thanks, Taz! I guess...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Five Minute Math and Reading Activities

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great long weekend, and a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate it!
I was lucky enough to have the entire week off. I made good use of it by putting together a bunch of reading and math activities that I can do with Toko and whatever kids end up in my small group. Each of these games is meant to take about five minutes. Not only will I use them when I take Toko and other kids out in the hallway to work on skills, but if I ever do get started on a reading group, I can use these games as incentives for good behavior and hard work. Want to see what I made?

This is a "Clank Can" for practicing counting to one hundred. Toko can count to about thirty, but when he gets to the twenties he pronounces them, "Twenty-twenty-one, twenty-twenty-two..." He and a lot of the other kids also have trouble recognizing and naming double digit numbers. For instance if I show them the number 43, they may call it forty, fourteen, thirteen, thirty-four, or some completely random number that I am never sure how they come up with. With this game, players close their eyes, draw a chip (poker chips that I labeled with numbers) from the bag, and look at it. If they can name it they get to drop it through the slot in the can, making a lovely "clank" noise. If they can't name it, they put it aside to try again later. Players can also divide up the chips and drop them into the can in order, while counting to one hundred together. They can also work together to put the chips in the right order on a table or floor, and then clean up by dropping them all noisily into the can!

Next we have Tower Of Power, which I found on Pinterest somewhere. Each cup has a sight word written on the bottom. Players take the first cup from the stack and turn it over. If they can read the word, they get to add it to their tower. The idea is to build your tower as big as you can! You can play competitively by building two towers and trying to get the tallest one, or you can play as a team by working together to build one huge tower. (Most people who make this game store it in a Pringles can, but I haven't finished the Pringles yet, so I'm storing it in a plastic bag for now.) My favorite thing about this is that you can keep on adding words as kids get better. If Toko becomes great at reading these site words, I will add more advanced words and mix them in, making even taller towersr possible!

This is simply a dry erase workbook. I always find great workbooks at Dollar Tree, but I hate to use them because then they're all gone, and because sometimes kids just whip through them and circle all the wrong answers, defeating the purpose. So I went through all my workbooks and tore out the pages I thought would be best for Toko and the others. I slipped the pages into sheet protectors, and put them in a binder. Kids always love doing anything at all with dry erase markers, so I'm hoping that will put a fun spin on ordinary workbook pages! And, if a kid makes a lot of mistakes, I can reteach the skills, and then wipe off the page and have him try again!

This one is really simple. I made it especially for Toko because he loves sports. It is a football field (in case you can't tell from my drawing skills.) You start on the very first line at either end of the board. You take a site word card (not shown in the picture) and try to read it. For every word you read correctly, you get to move up a line. When you get all the way to the last line on the other end, you score a touch down! It can be played by one kid, or by two people starting from opposite sides of the board.

Next is a fishing game! I worked very hard at coloring each fish, while watching DVRed episodes of "Parenthood" and "New Girl" with my mom. Each fish has a site word on it. You may be able to see the ever-so-crafty fishing poles I rigged up from craft sticks, string, and round refrigerator magnets I found at the DollarTree! I bet you can guess how the game is played! (Each fish has a brass tack attached to him.)

I didn't really make this one, so much as I took something I already owned and shoved it into a new bag. I have the Busy Bugs Learning Set leftover from when I was a caregiver for preschoolers. The object of the game is to match the rubber bugs to the pictures of bugs. Most of the cards in the set are too easy for Toko (he does know his colors and is able to match things to pictures) but there are also some cards that require you to finish a pattern. I pulled those cards out and put them in a bag with the bugs. Kids can also create their own patterns. Eventually I may add my own task cards with more complicated patterns to recreate!

Another super simple game. In the tub are alphabet beads that I had left over from the Alphabet Discovery Bottle I made during student teaching. All you do is take a site word card, find the correct letters, and string them onto the pipe cleaner. You can separate each word by a star bead or a plain bead, and see how many beads can fit on the pipe cleaner. Kids could even keep the pipe cleaners and wear them as bracelets, which would help them learn their site words even more thoroughly!

This one isn't really a game on its own, but it can be used along with any games that require dice. I hate playing dice games with kids because they either arrange the dice the way they want them and then toss them ever-so-gently onto the table, or they get out of control and whip their dice across the room. I had some of those little plastic bubbles that you get out of the machine at the bowling alley, with little rings and stuff in them. So I just put two dice in one of those. Now the kids just have to shake the bubble, set it down, and see where the dice landed!

I have even more activities in the works, and I'll probably post them later in the week as I finish them. Here is a sneak peak at one of them that is not quite finished...

Have a great week, everyone! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Miss Read Puts Her Feet Up!

Hi everyone! One of the perks of working at my new school is the fact that we get all of Thanksgiving week off! When I was a kid we just got Thursday and Friday, and when I got older the schools started giving kids Wednesday off. But now it is a whole separate vacation! Do any of your schools do it that way? 
All week I've been thinking of so many things I wanted to write about, but now that I have some time, my mind is just blank. I feel like I need to lay down and put my feet up all week long! Because I go to three and sometimes four classrooms a day, and don't really get a break, I hardly ever get a chance to sit down at work. The days go by so fast, and usually I am full of energy at work, but when I get home I just crash. 
I've been having a good time with Toko! The little dude had absolutely zero impulse control, but he is a really sweet boy. One problem I've been having is the fact that I feel like I am "redirecting" him all day long. A lot of it is things that I don't have a serious problem with, but I want him to stop doing because other teachers or staff members will yell at him. I get tired of hearing my own voice going, "Toko, sit down. Toko, stand up. Toko, walking feet. Toko, put your glasses on. Toko, come back to your desk. Toko, stop talking. Toko, turn around. Toko, pay attention. Toko, hands to self!" I know Toko is starting to get tired of my voice too, when he looks at me and says, "When are you gonna go help Wyken or Bess?" 
I want to find a way to redirect him without constantly talking to him or scolding him. Although he doesn't have autism, I've thought of trying something that I've often seemed used with children with autism or very young children. I thought of bringing a camera, and having Toko demonstrate for me the correct way to behave in different situations, such as sitting at his desk working, walking in the hallway, or standing in line. (He does cognitively know the correct ways to do these things, but just forgets in the heat of the moment.) I'd take pictures of him demonstrating each behavior. I could actually tape the picture of him working at his desk onto his desktop, and put the other photos on a key ring. That way, instead of constantly giving him verbal reminders, I could just point to the picture that showed him what he is supposed to do. Then I could save my voice for more positive comments like, "Great job sitting down," or "I like how you're walking so nicely in the hall!"
What do you think?  

Meanwhile back in Mr. Shizuko's room, Wyken has been getting out of hand. I think he's starting to drive Mr. Shizuko crazy! He doesn't really behave poorly, but he never stops talking and singing. The other kids complain about it when they're trying to work independently. Mr. Shizuko asks Wyken to sing quietly, or sing in his head, but a minute later Wyken will be singing audibly to himself. It seems to be a sort of unconscious habit. I told Mr. Shizuko he could send Wyken over to my other classroom when he needs a break. but then the resource teacher told me I could not do that because Wyken and Toko have apparently had conflicts in the past and Wyken can't stand Toko. Any ideas for getting a kid to stop singing and talking? All I can think of is giving something else to do with his mouth, such as allowing him to chew gum or suck on a hard candy... but I don't think Mr. Shizuko would allow it. Even though he's one of the less strict teachers, the problem with kids with special needs in inclusion classes is that the teachers think, "If I give this kid something, I'd have to give it to everyone." Something like a bouncy seat cushion can be explained as a physical need, but allowing one student to have candy would probably not fly. 

I have a week to stew about these issues, so I hope you can give me some ideas! In the mean time, here are some funny kid quotes for the day!

Kid: "How long is Thanksgiving break?"
Me: "A week."

Me: "I found this pencil on the floor. Is it yours?"
Kid: "I have never seen that pencil before in my life."

Teacher: "Toko, can you think of something you're thankful for?"
Toko: "My football!"
Teacher: "We're trying to think of things we really need, like our health, our homes, or our families. Like your brother, maybe! If you could only pick one, what would you rather have... a football, or your brother?"
Toko: "Uh... my football!"

Have a great week, everyone! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fighting Over Wheelchairs, Veterans, And More

Hi everyone! I'm pleased to let you know that things are starting to turn around at my new job! I am no longer feeling so overwhelmed, and am now feeling more confident and happy. The resource teacher actually came through with her promise to give me some training for working with Toko... and basically her "training" was to sit me down and tell me that I can do anything I want with Toko as long as it ties into education. She has given me permission to go into her room to get games and other materials to work with him on, plus a bucket of materials in Toko's classroom, plus encouragement to bring in anything else I have or come up with my own ideas. In addition, I will eventually be able to gather up a small group of other students from other rooms (such as Annie Elizabeth from my other classroom, because they are on a similar academic level) and work with them on basic things like phonics and simple math. So I'm finally going to be able to use my brain! I am really excited! 

Except I didn't really get to do anything at all with Toko, or even see him or Wyken, today. I had to stand in for another aide. You may remember that when I originally was hired for this job, I was told I'd be working with an 8-year-old girl named Bess who has cerebral palsy... but then when I arrived for my first day, I was told I'd be working with Wyken (and then two weeks later got told I'd be working with Toko, of course...) Bess ended up getting paired with a different aide who was already working at the school and who had more experience with children with physical impairments, but I have often gone along as a third party to help Bess use the bathroom. Usually I don't do anything but stand there while her real aide assists her, just for safety and liability purposes. Today, though, Bess's aide was sick, and for some reason they decided to have me work with Bess (I guess because she already knows me) and get a sub to work with Toko and Wyken. I was so sad to leave my little guys, but Bess is a pretty cool girl! The odd thing is that all the kids fight over who will push Bess's wheelchair from place to place. They don't really even have any interest in playing with her or talking to her, but they all clamber over each other to help her out in any way! It's hard to tell whether they just want the "fun" of pushing a wheelchair or the attention of being known as the helpful children who look out for the girl in the wheelchair, or if they genuinely want to be friends with her but don't exactly know how to play with her since she can't run around like they do. 

There is one particular girl named Sonya who actually does play with Bess at recess and stuff. The two of them make quite a pair! Bess is very sweet, but it is also pretty easy to tell that she is somewhat spoiled at home and that she spends most of her time with adults. She doesn't have the best social skills, she can be very bossy and demanding, and she'd just prefer to spend time with adults (maybe because adults are more likely to let her "run the show" than other children would be. For instance when Bess asks me to help her color, I don't demand that we play a different game instead!) On the other hand, young Sonya is an only child who is also fairly bossy and lacks social skills. She doesn't have many other friends in the class. So she plays with Bess. They both fight about what to play, and Sonya often ends up stomping off, with Bess wheeling after her trying to apologize. Sonya also really enjoys pushing Bess's wheelchair, reminding her to put on her breaks when they're stopped somewhere, helping her with her coat, etc. It would be nice if she wasn't so bossy about it, and will even push other kids out of the way! Also she's not great at pushing the wheelchair. While helping transport Bess from the playground to the classroom after lunch, Sonya crashed into a teacher and then nearly mowed down a group of three kindergarteners!

In other news, we had our Veteran's Day celebration today at school. It was very nice. The whole school went out to the flag in front of the building and said the Pledge together, and then sang "God Bless America" together. Two soldiers and some police color guards were there for the ceremony. Afterwards, several veterans came to talk to the kids and answer their questions. When I heard that veterans were coming to talk to us, I was picturing World War II veterans, or maybe some Vietnam vets. I just pictured old guys. Instead, the veterans were in their early twenties at most, and had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. The youngster who talked with Bess's class had three purple hearts, and casually mentioned being shot three times, stepping on a bomb and getting "blown up," and having his best friend save his life by pulling him off of a landmine. It was kind of shocking to me... I guess in my naive mind I thought that today's soldiers are somehow safer than the soldiers in the past. 

Although I did start to become more aware this summer, when I went to a local amusement park and saw signs in front of the rides that I'd never seen before. Besides warning people not to ride rides if they had heart problems or were pregnant or whatever, the signs also mandated how many arms and legs a rider needed. A sign might say, "Each rider must possess at least one complete arm and one complete leg to ride." At first I thought that was a little funny... exactly how many people with multiple limbs missing show up at Six Flags? But then someone pointed out to me that a lot of people have been coming back from the war with their arms and legs blown off from landmines. Enough people to warrant special signs at Six Flags. Sobering, isn't it? Makes you really have a new appreciation for the people who voluntarily go off to war.

After the talks with the veterans, Bess's class watched a video about Honor Flight, and then started writing letters to World War II veterans, which will be passed out randomly to passengers on the next local Honor Flight trip. 

So it was a nice day I got to spend with Bess. But I'll be happy on Monday to see Toko and Wyken and all my little buddies again! 

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wyken and Taz

I am now working almost full time with Taz, and only seeing Wyken for an hour a day. Wyken is absolutely fine without me, and when I do go in there I am often either observing or working with other kids, especially Davey who follows me around at all times when I'm in there. If anything, I try to check in with Wyken at least once a day and keep an eye on him on the days I have recess duty, as more of an emotional support person. A lot of times he will come and talk to me when he feels like he's been slighted in some way, like if some of the other kids won't play with him, if he's been yelled at by one of the cranky lunch supervisors, if he's lost his blue marker and is certain someone has stolen it from him, etc. I'll just sort of listen to him and help him put things into perspective, until his attention wanders and he dashes off to play. I really miss working with Wyken all the time... even though I was only really with him for two weeks, it was a fun two weeks!
Taz is another story. I mean, I definitely like Taz, and it is fun working with him, but he is very different from Wyken. Taz is a tough nut to crack. 
Taz's biggest obstacle in life is his impulsiveness. He is also very fast and intense. For example... You know how first graders are sort of prone to "cutting" in line? Taz does this himself quite a lot. But if anyone else cuts in line either in front of him, in back of him, or somewhere else completely, Taz will scream and just give the person a healthy shove! One time this very small first grader named Shay got behind Taz in line, and Taz felt that he had cut. So Taz turned around and pushed the kid so hard, he toppled and fell to the floor! I watched the whole thing happen. And you know, I very rarely raise my voice or even use an extremely firm voice. So when this happened, I marched over and looked Taz in the eye, and said, "You pushed him? I think you need to say sorry, and then go to the end of the line!" I barely raised my voice at all, but it sure shocked Taz, and he quickly said sorry and went to the end of the line. (And then I felt kinda bad. But jeez, you can't just shove people like that... especially people who are about twenty pounds soaking wet!) He now has a behavior sheet where he can earn stars for working on a weekly goal. This week, his goal is keeping hands and feet to self. And he's actually able to do this, most of the time, as long as I keep reminding him, "What are you working on?" I also try to show him what he should be doing, and point out kids who are doing the correct thing, such as sitting on the carpet during circle time instead of leaning over and poking people. 
Another of Taz's obstacles is the fact that, academically, he is a lot lower than the other first graders. He is pretty good at faking it though. For some reason the teacher is always having the kids copy sentences off of the board, and calling this Writing Workshop. They have to copy entire paragraphs. Taz is fairly good at copying, but he often leaves out letters or entire words, and he never has any idea of what he just wrote. Today I worked with him on writing a page about Presidents, and he just kept asking, "What does this say? Can you read this again?"
Other times, he completely surprises me with his ability to know what is going on. Today the kids were reading a Weekly Reader comparing the two Presidential candidates. I had spent most of the afternoon working with yet another student, filling in for the student's usual aide who was at a meeting. When I came back into Taz's class he was sitting quietly, looking at his Weekly Reader, and listening to what the other students were reading aloud. To look at him, you would have never guessed that he had no idea what most of the words on the page said! When the teacher asked questions, Taz was able to answer them correctly every time. However, when the kids were supposed to circle those same answers on the page, Taz couldn't do it and needed me to point out the very same answer he had just mentioned. 
An important obstacle for Taz, in my mind, is the quiet battle going on between his parents and teachers. His parents, who adopted him a few years ago, are dead set against him being in special education. They allow him to have speech therapy, but that is all. For the classroom teacher, Taz's behavior is the main concern. In fact she has started keeping track of the number of times she has to redirect him. Even if she asks him to sit down and he does it right away, because she told him to sit down it is counted. Even with this new behavioral sheet, it was almost as if she was hoping Taz wouldn't be able to get the stars. As if she were setting him up to fail, just to be able to offer proof that he needs to be in a special education class. Today I felt like Taz had an awesome morning... he got almost all of his starts, and the ones he didn't get were for very small infractions... but the teacher felt that Taz had had a terrible morning as usual. She just can't stand if he talks out or does anything. Once I was walking with Taz from his locker to his classroom, and he was bopping himself in the head with his folder, which I didn't even notice... I guess I was just dismissing it as regular 7-year-old boy behavior. He was otherwise being fine, walking and not making noise. But the teacher came out, saw him, ordered him to go back to his locker and walk again without bopping himself with the folder, and scolded me for not being more firm with him. Five kids in the class can be doing the same exact thing, but if Taz is doing it he is the one who will get yelled at. 
I feel like poor Taz is not getting served at school. He spends so much time just copying things he doesn't understand, and so little time really learning things at his own academic level. All the attention is on his impulsive and distracting behavior, and instead of trying to find ways to teach him how to behave properly, or putting things in place to help him behave properly, the teachers just yell at him, give him consequences, and write down what he did in hopes of convincing someone to get him out of the room. 
I really hope I can make a difference for Taz, but I am not sure how I will be able to... there are just so many people in the situation already who want to be completely in charge and feel that their way is the correct way. 
What do you think? Any input? 
Oh well. I am going to take a nap. Despite the "fall back" time change, I feel like I haven't slept in days!