||[Dec. 18th, 2008|03:07 pm]
Today reminded me why I'm glad that I only occasionally sub for paraeducators, and am not one professionally. I was working with a guy named Scott, who has serious prolems (not the least of which is his impaired hearing and vision). He's a senior, who reads at a fourth grade level if reading means being able to mumble the words on the page out loud. If you're talking about understanding what he's reading, or remembering it by the time he's finished, then no. And when he worked on the worksheet that I was supposed to have him do alone--that, according to the notes left by his usual tutor, he is supposedly completely capable of doing by himself--he completely misunderstood what he was supposed to do, and didn't really get it without me walking him through every question. He drools. His nose never stops running. And his afternoon class with a woman who comes in and teaches him cooking (perhaps so that he can one day function semi-independently) seems to consist of him pacing around the room, staring out the window, etc, while she cooks and tries repeatedly to get him to focus. He does not know how to focus on anything for more than three seconds unless it's a jigsaw puzzle. And he isn't allowed to get on the computer without strict supervision, or else he goes on Youtube to watch videos and gets so zoned out he doesn't even here you telling him to get offline. First thing this morning, I had to force shut-down the computer just to get him away from it when he jumped on the net despite being told no. |
I'm sorry if I sound insensitive or intolerant or anything, but it's so frustrating to be pretty much a glorified babysitter, to spend my entire day straining not to do all the assignments myself becase he won't pay attention or doesn't get it...when I was in school I was always a tad impatient with other kids who didn't grasp things as quickly as I did. I don't have the patience required to teach people who don't get anyrthing. And consequently i'm grumpy and stressed out today.
I realize of course that this kid has legitimate problems, real reasons for his difficulties, but part of me honestly feels that he should not be on the cusp of graduating high school given the level he's currently at. Frankly, I think it sort of devalues everyone else's diplomas if they're doing well, trying hard, and getting into difficult subjects, and he gets te same rewards for barely being able to read, and being unable to do math without counting on someone else's fingers. There I go sounding like an asshole again though. But here's an interesting thought: kids with severe learning disabilities are pushed through because arents otherwise protest that their children are being treated in a fashion detrimental to their emotions, psyche, etc, and that instead these kids should not feel different than everyone else. How much, though, is that actually the parents worrying about how their kids perceive themselves, and how much is the parents themselves wishing they had a "normal" son or daughter? But again, I'm probably being over harsh because I had a shitty day. I think the one thing that bothered me the most is how often he tried to get me to let him do what he wasn't supposed to, or do his share of the work for him. It's one thing to be challenged, it's another thing to try to use it as a way to weasel out of what's expected of you.
Well, one positive note: if all things go to plan, I should be meeting up with Mssrs. James Young and A. Sammis this weekend while they're visiting family in the Wolcott area. And soon next week going home. The kids around here have school right up until Christmas Eve (the 24th is their first day off), but my cousin has Monday-Wednesday off I think, and in any case I'm not worknig after Sunday night, until January 4. At which point my hours get weird because she's switching to days after Christmas, which means I'm worknig in the mornings, getting them on the bus and everything, and being there when they get home around 3ish...But yes, a visit from the partnership of Sammis & Young is something to look forward to. And going home for a couple weeks. Luckily the big family Christmas isn't until New Year's Day, so I have time to finish making my flavored syrups for goody boxes...
Well, enough from me. Hope y'all are doing well. I'll try to p[ost again before I leave. If not, Happy Holidays.