6.07.2006

Jeff vs. Special Education

I've been booked for this job for a little while, and I've been nervous about it since I got the call. Middle School Special Ed. I've been told it's not as bad as I've anticipated, but I've been reluctant to do it, nonetheless. Well I had to bite the bullet today, since I was requested for this job.

I started the day nervous, but foudn out quickly that it's not special ed, just kids that really need the extra help, or can't be around the general student body. In first period, I had an aid, a sub on break, and the teacher I was in for in the room with me. Needless to say, I had performance anxiety until the second period when everybody left. Then I got to know 'em all, and they really took to me. It was a tough 6 periods, though. Some kids just do what they want, others have genuine trouble, and struggle with things like putting sentences together, so even as a sub, you're trying to make everyone happy, but not pushing anyone to the point of frustration or embarrassment. There was one girl, "A," who got in everyone's face at the drop of a hat. Swearing, posturing, threatening kids with ass kickings. The teacher told me that A has had a troubled life, but her life is starting to stabilize, but she has a problem with authority. If you tell her to do something (or give her an order), she withdraws and gets confrontational. But if you compliment her (I'm told), she'll do just about anything you ask. For example, I was told to tell her how cute she is in case I need to get her to do something. Not wanting to test that theory, or pander to a 13 year-old girl, I was just nice to her (and to everyone else), but I didn't resort to compliments. Well, after lunch, she was late for class, then came around to the door, but went off to the elementary playground with friends. I told her to get back in the class, and she just kept walking. She was 20'-30' away when I used the heavy artillery, "A, my beautiful darling, will you please come back to class?" She didn't even break stride when she turned around to come back. It was classic. That, thankfully, is my most interesting story. No one else gave me too much trouble. Any issues were manageeable. If I were called for Special Ed again, I'd do it... I just hope I don't get called again.

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