Monthly Archives: January 2011

He’s Late

Peter was late today.  But at least he’s here.  But him rushing is not a good thing.  He is so disorganized, and so scattered.  Things are even more messy when he rushes.

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P (Peter)

Okay, we’re calling him Peter.  The new guy.

Peter was actually at school today, though I was interested to see how long he would stay.  Yesterday he left fairly  early.  He claimed he had chest pains.  (I found out later that his brother has been sick 5 days now with chest pain. I’ll let you decide for yourself if Peter really had them, or if he just wanted to be home with his brother.)

It’s impossible to get Peter to produce any work.  I put three language arts problems on the board for the class to do.  One of them was to write one word to finish an analogy.  Another problem was to split the word “copper” into syllables.  The other was to write what the subject and predicate was in the sentence, “The tree fell.”  All simple, right.  Peter just couldn’t focus enough to write an answer. He was looking all over the class, looking in his desk.  Anything but writing an answer.  I had to tell him at least 3 times to write something down.

I swear, I had to redirect him every 5 minutes when he was in my room.

And you can believe he didn’t have his homework done.

We had a special safety assembly after lunch, in the library.  All the 4th grade classes walked right up there.  It was a big deal.  I get my class sat down on the floor, take a seat in a chair, and look around to notice that – surprise – Peter isn’t there.  I get up to tell the VP, thinking maybe he went to the office for some reason (he’s done that before).  We step out of the library to find him, coming from the steps.  The VP asks him where he’s been.  He tells us he has been in the bathroom.

Recess had ended almost 20 minutes before that, and I remind him so.  He just stares at me.  I remind him that when the bell rings at the end of recess, that is the time to GET IN LINE, not go to the bathroom.

That kid is so frustrating.  I keep telling myself that maybe I failed to inform him of that.  But you know, all my other new students have picked up on that without my obvious reminders.

Then in the computer lab, he keeps falling out of his chair.  The kids tell me he keeps playing with his chair.  So after the second warning, I have him exit the math program he’s in, and have him come sit close to me, but on the floor.  He sits down, and what happens?  He starts laying down.  I tell him to sit up.  Then he starts to sit in a chair.  I remind him to sit on the floor.  Then he starts to play WITH THE CHAIR.  I tell him to fold his hands and place them in his lap.  He can’t even do that.

As we are walking out to the parking lot at the end of school, I tell him I need to talk with his mom.  So we sit and wait, and she pulls up.  As he gets in the back seat, I talk to mom through the front window, telling her of my frustrations with Peter.  Mom informs me that he wasn’t on his meds today.  What is up with that?  Okay, the boy CANNOT learn when he is like this!  He really needs to be oh his meds, the poor kid!

We’re in one of the lanes to pick up, so his mom tells him to shut the door.  But he doesn’t.  So as I’m talking, she peppers him with, “Peter, shut the door.”  BUT HE NEVER DOES.  So she keeps telling him to.  After a while, I ask him to as well.  But he doesn’t.

After I’ve said what I wanted, I with them a happy weekend and walk away.  As i do, I can hear mom say, “No it isn’t, Peter.”  I know she’s talking about the door being closed.  So I turn around, and sure enough, it’s still open, just a crack.  The front window is still open, so I shout, “Shut the door, Peter.”

He doesn’t.

Then the car begins to pull away, so I yell louder, “Shut the door, Peter!”

He doesn’t close it.

Then he OPENS THE DOOR and says goodbye to me.  UNBELIEVABLE!  So I shout as loud, and as mean as I can, “Shut the door, Peter!!”

He finally does.

I’m so glad the VP was standing to witness the whole thing.

I swear I had to redirect him every 5 minutes today.

Have I mentioned it’s going to be a long year?

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We found out a boy in one of the 4th grade classes has luekemia.  The coucilor and school psychologist came and spoke with all the classes.


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Again with the New Guy

His first day, he came in at about 11.  Apparently, mom didn’t have all the paperwork completed.  Whatever

Day two, he was here all day.  He missed day 3, I think  – day 3 or day 4.  Then one day he left early.

This week (a 4 day week) he missed Tuesday, I think it was.  Word on the street is that he told someone he and his brother stayed home to have a funeral for his hamster.

Okay, this kid has had a sucky life.  He has been through a lot.  Maybe there is something to letting him stay home because he’s freakin’ out cuz his hamster died.  Maybe, because of what he’s been through, it’s a small thing to do to help make up for all the crap he’s been through.  That’s giving mom the benefit of the doubt.

This kid is so dis-shelved.  He came in with a note from his mom.  Of course, it was folded about 4 times, and all wrinkled.  And he came right up to me while I was picking up my line in the morning.  He says, “Mr. V., this is why my eyes look like I’ve been crying.  See?  It’s right here.  My hamster is gone.”

I’ve notice he’s got little sores on him, that look like they could start bleeding at any time, as though they were bleeding 15 minutes ago.  I can’t figure out what they are from, or what might have caused them.  The only thing I can think of is that one of the RSP teachers asked him about his scratches on his arms (I haven’t noticed scratches) and he told her there are from the bugs that are in his bed and in his house.  Maybe these little sores on his arms are from bug bites?

And I’ve yet to get any homework from him.  Although, I did get his parent note returned, and it was even signed.

I just really have to stay on top of him, and remind him of what he needs to do, and what is expected of him.  Give him reminders, so that he doesn’t get in trouble.  But I have to continually give him those reminders, for everything.

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Another New Guy

Well, it’s been a while, but I got another new student (I had lost 1 boy, but gained a girl, so that had me at 32 for a while).  We’ll call him P.  He came with a lot of baggage, so we had a heads up about him, and the day before he came, we had a meeting with his mom, his old schools psychologist and RSP teacher, our psychologist and RSP teacher, and our principal.

He’s got a LOT of things going on with him, besides his health issues (can you say ADHD? [and more]).  The poor guy.

But actually getting him in class was somethin’.  Hopefully he WASN’T on his meds for his first day, because if he was…uh oh!  Apparently, when mom was asked by the principal if he was on his meds, mom said, “I think.” – I THINK????  Look mom, let’s make sure the guy takes his meds EVERY DAY!

Now you know I have experience with ADHD, and boys who have it and aren’t medicated.  This boy seemed to fit the bill.  In between long sessions in the bathroom (I was told he was goofing off, throwing water with a couple of 5th graders) he was a tad squirrelly (can you smell my sarcasm?).

Odd things I noticed about him:  scratches/sores on his arms, sucking his shirt sleeves (to the point that they were noticably wet), and talking to almost everyone at his table throughout the day (impressive, for a new guy [new guys are generally quiet and trying to follow the rules]).

But that was yesterday – he came after recess (I don’t know why they didn’t have mom fill out the paperwork after the meeting the day before).  Today he was here all day.  And no trips to the bathroom.  Although, I did get him faking he was soundly asleep.

He is classic ADHD.  He can’t find his paper because it fell on the floor when he turned around to talk to the guy behind him.  Then when he finally realizes it is on the floor, he knocks his pencil off his desk while he bends over to pick up his paper.  Then he finally gets his pencil, but then he didn’t hear what page to turn to.  Take that about 5 times, and that was his/my day.

I feel bad, because this guy is going to consume my year.  He’s going to take a lot of my attention.  He does go out for 30 minutes twice a week for language arts, and 45 minutes twice a week for math.  That will help.  His former RSP teacher implied he needed the time because he’s still putting capital letters in the middle of sentences.  I’m not sure about that, but I think he might need the time so that he can gain focus in a small group.

Oh yes.  RSP aide asked why all the scratches on his arm.  He replied it was because of the bugs in his clothes.  Nice.


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Gettin’ Back

It was tough getting up this morning!  I had been dreading this day for a while.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  And by the end of the day, I was exhausted!  I know I can fall asleep at any given time, almost on demand.  But it was more evident at home after school.  I was pooped!

At lunch the next day, I think everyone stated that they had been exhausted the night before.

I’m still tired.  It’s hard getting back.  I an really don’t feel like I’m in any kind of groove.  I’m sure my students don’t, either (if they ever did).

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Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a teacher?  Or, rather, how much I love having a teacher’s work schedule.  I love my vacation time.  It almost worries me.  Ever since Halloween, I’ve been living for the next school break.  And this Christmas break has been great!  I don’t miss my class at all.

I’ve got one more week of vacation.  I wonder when the next break will be?  Oh yes!  February is a great month!  Lots of 3 day weekends!  Wooo hooo!

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