Trying to Teach my Kids this one

Earlier this week, we had a tough day. Joe ran out of the build and almost made it to the street! As he ran down the hallway, I ran after him, and yelled, “JOE, FRONT DOOR!” into my walkie talkie. Immediately, 6 or 7 of my male co-worked dropped what they were doing and ran after us. Joe is 19 now and easily more than double my size. I don’t remember if I posted about this before but… A few months ago he eloped, but waited for  me to catch up and make eye contact before running out the door! When Danielle got in front of him, he started punching her. I thought I could calm him down because we have rapport, but he tackled me and bit my face. A male co-worked arrived and pulled him off me. I went to urgent care… Anyway, now a walkie talkie warning about him eloping out of the building gets an immediate response!

Back to this week… Once two men passed me, I stopped running because I knew they could handle it and I was useless for helping to restrain him anyway. However, this time it took 4 men to carry him. Usually, once someone gets ahold of his arms, he walks back. This time, that wasn’t enough. We put him in the biggest Quiet Room because supposedly it is too wide for anyone to climb. We found out that was false. Joe can still climb. He reached the sprinkler and tore a piece off. Idk why there are sprinklers in the QRs when the doors only lock when someone is standing there holding a magnetic button. Anyway, the principal of the school opened the QR door and told him to get down. He did… and then he tried to hit the principal. But we shut the door quickly enough. Joe continued trying to climb, but every time we opened the door, he jumped down. He rarely curses, but this time he was cursing at us and threatening us. It is the worst I’ve ever seen him. 😦

A lot of stressors are happening though… We’re getting a new student in the fall. Barb finally left (she worked at our school for 7 years and Joe has been there most of that time, her departure was tough on him), but on Monday she returned as a substitute. Also, our internet was out all week and his favorite break choice is surfing the web. Moreover, he thought he lost a break when he ran (he did not).

So, we didn’t get out of the QR for over an hour. By the time he was out, it was time for lunch. A few minutes after we get to class, Jacob starts leaving the room (they’re supposed to stay in class for the first 20 minutes of lunch), and doing minor property destruction, all while staring at me. He desperately wanted my attention. At one point, I offered to play a game with him when he was back in class being safe, but he ignored me. I was positive he’d elope too. When it was time for recess, he had a 5 minute delay for not following directions. Amazingly, he walked back to class and sat in his desk!

I internally did a happy dance and externally, praised him once the 5 minutes was up for making the next right choice!

do the next right thing

Maybe I should make this poster for my room! Except, not in pink. 😉

Goodbye Meds, Hello Warm and Fuzzies

I skipped one too many psychiatric appointment and now I’m running out of meds. My next appointment is on Memorial Day, so I don’t know whether my pdoc will be in the office. The following week, I am out of town. I’m using this opportunity to titrate (or go cold turkey on the meds I’m completely out of) off meds.

It turns out my “self-control” is all about amphetamines at the moment! I only started Ritalin and then Adderall in college, so I successfully restricted without meds in the past. However, my lack of self-control over food and studying is hurting my self-esteem.

My parents commented that I “look better”. Argh, thanks guys. In my head, “you don’t look like you’re starving anymore” is an insult.

On another note, I’m on a two week break from work and this is something a student turned in on Friday:

2016-7 Memories_whiteout - Copy

I’m Failing Them All

My boss always pushes hands on activities, but the only reason we have the kids in groups is so they can handle a group educational setting after transition. Therefore, maybe it is okay to lecture.
 
I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS.
 
What I am being asked to do is impossible (teach such variant grade levels in one class (1st grader, 3rd grader, 4th grader, and 5th grader in Group 1 and two 5th graders, an 8th grader, and a 9th grader in Group 2) with some only coming 1 or 2 days a week, while others come to all 4 classes/week), but I still feel like I’m failing everyone.
A few minutes after typing this, I started venting to Ginny anyway because WordPress was acting up and wouldn’t post. Yet, in talking to her, I felt like such a depressing, annoying, burden. So, I lied and said I had to go to dinner and I’d talk to her later. I cried for a minute, then I stopped fighting. I smashed a light-bulb and used its shards to cut. It was on my arm too!! That means my mom will notice. She’ll be so upset. FAIL.
I guess sleeping to cope only works for so long before you blow up with behaviors.

Changes are Coming

My day was exciting and anxiety provoking.

I worked with David all day. A new student came to tour with his mom. David was best friends with the new student at their old school. They gave each other a huge hug when they saw one another! The new kid is a cute 9 year old. He also murdered the class pet in front of everyone else.

The dynamics are about to be switched up majorly! All the boys in Ashley’s room helped give the new student a tour. Predictably, they all wanted to be the tour leader. John screamed and cried. Cory brooded. David was adorable showing his friend the ropes! The new kid ran in the hallway and before I could say anything, David says, “You have to walk in the hallway.” Later they went outside for one of David’s breaks, his friend turns to leave the room and David says, “Wait! You have to wait for staff!” So, at least for today, David was a positive influence on the new student. His actions gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

There are already issues. Like I said, Cory and John were jealous and the new student already seems to dislike them. He asked David which kids he didn’t like so that he could dislike the same kids. I envision them teaming up on other students and the new kid being the ring-leader. He was kind helping David in math class. The new kid is on grade level and David is not.

I start my new job on Monday. I don’t know if I can handle not working with these 3. Clearly, I have favorites.

Cory seems to be cycling again. He is head banging and getting a flat affect when he is upset. I’m worried the 3rd classroom supervisor won’t be able to react neutrally towards him. He loves manipulating emotions. Actually, it was funny! A few weeks ago, I worked with him and Heather was also working with him. She took something away. I don’t remember what or why, but he was unhappy. He started rambling, “I have feelings to you know! Every one has feelings.” *hits Heather* “See? You have feelings too Heather. I can tell on your face.” Note: He did not hit me. I am a boss at hiding my emotions and he has given up trying to goad me. He knows I can outlast him. I’m going to miss him whether or not he cycles. When he does well he is sweet and smart. When he struggles, he is like a puzzle because he isn’t motivated by anything other than pissing other people off.

David asked me to make him Giant Man. I did. He carried it around with him all day. ❤ He had two episodes in the morning, both after seeing his old friend. That bodes ill! However, he pulled it together and made it to the Talent Show. It went well. He was upset his parents couldn’t come, but his old teacher and principal showed up! We couldn’t tell him, in case they didn’t make it, but he was so excited when he saw them! We ran (err, speed walked 😉 ) around the building, showing them everything. Oddly, he wanted to show them the Quiet Room, even though he’d been there earlier in the morning. His teacher asked what we have at his new school that they should use at his home school district. He said, “We have fun.” She brought him a rose! He was too shy to do his act, but he did part of it and he got up on stage.

Gage had aggression during his act, but he was okay. It was mainly excitement. It still isn’t nice to hit adults though. I AM excited to work with him more often. He continues to regress. Also, I can challenge him academically! When I filled in for the 3rd classroom supervisor when she was on maternity leave last year, I had him doing multiplication and division. Months before they had him identifying more vs. less.

I’m going to have Gage, Jacob, and Sean in my classroom. That will be… interesting… because Barb hasn’t been making them do any work for the last half hour of the day and she is easier than I am on inappropriate language. However, my boss keeps reminding me, I’ll be good for Sean because he needs that and his school district wants him back in January. In order for that to go well, he needs to use appropriate language because we ignore a lot here, but he will get in trouble at his old school or another kid will hurt him. He won’t be used to getting in trouble, he’ll have behaviors, and he’ll wind up  back here.

I have to teach History and Science. I’m worried about lesson planning. I’m worried about meeting state standards and keeping their interest and teaching well. *sigh* I’m more anxious, than happy.

Also my favorite holiday is coming up, the day everyone binges, aka Thanksgiving.

I’ve wanted to purge for the past 4 hours. I ate 2 cookies after the Talent Show. I slept for an hour and a half and that helped, but I still want to purge. Thanksgiving will be great.

My mom weighed me this morning. I was “up” a pound (I was dressed in heavy clothes) and she says, “Yay! Now that is approaching perfection. Gee…Thanks, Mom.

On a positive note, my grandma is out of the hospital and appears fine!

Quiet Rooms and Playgrounds

Work has been good lately! I’m doing well accepting things I can’t control, even when I disagree with decisions. I’m still uneasy about the promotion, but I feel trapped now. Therefore, I’ll try it and hope it works out. I still freaking out over the potluck tomorrow. But I took youmeanme’s advice and planned 3 things I think I can handle.

The kids are mostly doing well. Gage was adorable yesterday and today! I didn’t work with him either day, however, I was in his classroom during the kids’ lunch. Yesterday he was on break and my student played baseball for his break. Gage sees me, walks over to the bin of gym equipment, grabs a basketball, tosses it at me, and says, “Come on”! We shoot baskets a lot when I work with him. 🙂 Later, during his lunch period, he was unusually subdued and laid on the floor without eating. About halfway through lunch, he sits up and plops down on a bean bag. Then he looks at me and pats the bean bag next to his. I prompted him, “If you want me to sit next to you, you can say, ‘Sit here please.'” He said it and I chilled out with him for the rest of lunch. Today I was in his room during lunch again. During the first 10 minutes of recess, we went outside. He sits down on a swing and I ask if I can swing with him. He said yes. I wasn’t really swinging because I needed to be ready to jump off if someone was in crisis. Apparently, Gage thought I needed help! He got off his swing and pushed me a few times, saying, “Wee! Awesome! So high! Gage!” It was cute!

I was with Cory today and David yesterday. David threw furniture both days. However, he WALKED himself to the quiet room, which is great progress!