Friday, February 10, 2012

Running Out Of Steam

Today marks the last day of my second-to-last week at Sky Elementary. Although I definitely love the children, I have to admit I am running out of steam. Its getting hard for me to drag myself out of bed each day, force myself to take a shower, put on my usual corduroys and sweater, pack a lunch, eat a healthy breakfast, part ways tearfully with my dogs and cats, and drive myself to "work." 
I guess part of it is because, as an "intern" and not a student teacher, everything I do is really mostly the duties of a teacher's aide. I don't have any real responsibilities, like lesson plans or assessments or special activities, to think about. I just show up. do calendar time the way I have been told to do by the teacher, and then do whatever center activity I've been given to do. Always cut-and-paste. The kids cut-and-paste, cut-and-paste, cut-and-paste! Cut-and-paste pictures of vegetables onto a picture of a plate. Cut-and-paste farm animals and zoo animals into the correct categories. Cut-and-paste paper hearts into the correct order by size. Cut-and-paste the parts of a bird onto a piece of blue paper. Cut-and-paste the letters of their names. I'm surprised they haven't developed carpal tunnel from all that cutting! 
Not to speak poorly of the teacher. I like her a lot, she's been very nice to me, and she is kind and loving with the children. But she's been a preschool teacher for 30 years. Probably 30 years ago preschool was all about cut-and-paste... but now there are so many more ways to teach children, so many more ways we could be enriching their lives! 
Plus there is the fact that I still haven't found out my placement for my ten-week assignment. Which starts in one week. Where will I go?
And then there is the fact that I was just informed in "seminar" that, with an LBS1 certificate (which is what I will have when I graduate this spring) all I will be able to be is a resource teacher. An LBS1 certificate apparently doesn't make you highly qualified enough to have your own special education teacher. The professor cheerfully said, "So you'll be a support person! You'll help with homework!"

Help with homework? I don't want to help with homework? I want to teach! 
The professor in my seminar says there is a test you can take in order to be considered highly qualified enough to have your own classroom. But its a hard test. And besides, she can't remember what the test is. UGH! 
This information might not even be true. I have been looking at job openings in my state, and the qualifications just ask for an LBS1 certificate. So... you never know. I guess I'll just hope for the best, right? But the prospects of just helping kids with homework is enough to make me want to curl up in a ball on the couch and refuse to leave the house again. 
Oh well. Lets think about more cheerful things. 
Ani has been getting more talkative every day, has been playing with other kids (especially Pewee), and has even been seen smiling! 
Robin comes up to me every day and tells me, in this sleepy, slow-motion way he has of talking, "I like you, Miss Angel! I like you so much!" 
Quail, a precocious three-year-old who probably doesn't really need to be in the "at-risk" program, swears that at night he and his sister wake up and turn into werewolves!
Rhea allegedly kissed Wren twice on the bus the other day, and has asked her to marry him. Rhea was lectured about keeping his lips to himself , but Wren didn't seem bothered at all. She cheerfully announced that she was going to tell her mother that Rhea kissed her. "I think Mommy will be happy, because she kisses her boyfriends all the time!" Wren declared.
After I read a story to the children about police officers and what they do, Teal raised her hand to contribute, "If you drink alcohol the police will come take you away!" 
And when we were learning about the five senses and I asked the kids what they use their noses for, Pewee replied, "Sneezing!" 
They are wonderful, sweet, funny kids. A lot of them are underappreciated by their parents. The school projects we send home go in the trash. The library books we send home go unread. They are exposed to alarming situations. Yet they show up at school, just happy to play with blocks and color with crayons like ordinary preschoolers. I wish I could do more for them! 
But, one week from now, I will be gone. 


  1. Your program definitely seems a lot different than ours! We observe for a few days (up to one week) until we feel that we have a basic understanding of our students and then we take over (plan lessons, units, asses, etc). Do you get to do this during your 10-week placement?
    I am not familiar with exactly what an LBSI certificate is but it seems crazy that your professor would say something along the lines of "you help with homework". Anytime you are interacting with children, whether it is formally teaching or not, you are doing a multitude of tasks. It seems like he/she was trying to diminish your importance, which is awful! Hopefully you can get it all straightened out.
    Best wishes :)

    1. Yeah this professor seems to have a lot of negative things to say about me. During the 10-week placement, we do get to observe for one week. Then we start by taking over one subject the second week, a second subject the next week, and so on, until we are controlling everything! The LBS1 certificate is a Learning Behavioral Specialist... basically just a special ed teacher that is qualified teach children with any disabilities.


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