I haven’t posted much lately. I think it’s because usually my posts about my year and my class tell a story, and this year, the narrative keeps getting botched up.
Three years in a row I had an awesome class. Last year’s bunch mostly had two parents at home, even the ones who were in poverty, and it really showed. This year I have a lot of awesome students, but as a whole, it has been a difficult group. I guess it was time for me to experience a little adversity.
It’s April, and I am having difficulty seeing the progress my lovelies have made. That’s been overshadowed by the progress some of my lovelies haven’t made at all. One of my special ed students has a tentative diagnosis of developmental delay, but I think that it might change to something like developmentally and cognitively disabled. This child has learned very little all year, no matter how hard we have all tried. Another one used to show a lot of progress, both in behavior and academics, but things are so bad at home that it doesn’t matter what we do, the rage and fear and stress have taken over. I am powerless to make things better. (Yes, we have called Child Protection. They won’t do anything.) I’m watching a child suffer and I can’t help. My third special ed student (that’s another story — I’m only supposed to have two, but somehow just got a third) shows signs of having been allowed to be dependent on adults for too many things, so I’ve got two months to teach this child how to be independent. A fourth student hasn’t learned much all year in terms of academics or basic skills, so I am trying to have him referred to special ed, but it may be too late in the year.
I’ve gotten three new students recently (plus I had two “old” students return from being overseas for almost two months). Two of my lovely, charming babies moved to another school, and were replaced by a child who doesn’t speak any English, a child whose parents have not prepared him for school academically (he can’t speak in coherent sentences, can’t recognize or write his name, knows no letters/sounds/numbers/shapes, can’t count past two, etc.), and the third special ed child I mentioned.
April is usually when you start to measure tons of progress and it’s a good feeling, but all I can see right now are the kids I can’t help. How can I get kids ready for kindergarten when they are only in my room for two months? Or when their special needs are so overwhelming? Or their families are so dysfunctional?