Students Fine, Teacher a bit Unreasonable

Today, I failed First Grade.  Well, at least parts of it.  The time when I decided 38 minutes was long enough to be sitting on a carpet square on the floor, so I stood up before the teacher finished her sentence.  If looks could kill…

Next time was when I was helping a girl put her Math problem in the correct box on the paper, but the teacher had pulled her name out of the can, so she was supposed to be providing the answer, so her name got called 3 times before we realized the rest of the class was waiting.

And then when a boy kept getting the wrong answer for his adding, I asked him to show me how he was using his Number Line (the little graph “cheat sheet” taped to the top of his desk because of his learning problem) but the teacher said I was not to be helping him, that was why he had the Paper in the first place.  It did not seem to matter to HER that he was not beginning at the proper point, not understanding the problem set, therefore he would still wonder why he keeps getting the wrong answer.

So he reached into his desk to get his eraser (the one on his pencil was already bent metal) and got told to leave his desk stuff alone.  So while she was busy writing on the board, I sneeked the eraser out for him.  She turned and said “And Mrs. Wiman is not supposed to be in the desk either” but I said I chose to do that, erased all his mistakes, then set it close to his hand.
I’m thinking Why else would a TA get paid to be with him if all he needed was the little paper?

She walked back to us and took away everything except the stubby pencil and the paper of Math problems.  Both the kid and I had had enough by then.  He just copied everything from the board for the last couple problems.  I’m not sure if he will be understanding adding for awhile.

And then, when I went to fetch/escort the class back from the library, at least two asked if they could stop for a drink.  I made sure no other class was in the hall, then said Yes, three swallows.  Maybe 3 kids got a drink, then the teacher came around the corner looking for us.  “NO, we do not stop for drinks after library” so we scooted on back to the room, passing two other water fountains while doing so.
At about that minute I thought I recognized in her a couple symptoms of menopause.

There was a snack time, with crackers.  And then 4 students at a time were allowed to go out to the water fountain for a drink.  Last one name called was the first kid who had asked if he could get a drink after library.  38 minutes had passed.

At the break, the teacher says “I know you don’t know these kids, but they really do seem needy, always twiddling with something, not staying on task.  It’s a difficult year already, and we’re just at Thanksgiving.”

I told her that I do know most of them.  This is my fourth year of being a TA Sub, so I remember them in Mrs. C’s Early Childhood room, and Mrs. B’s Kindergarten.  There is a TA in the room to help with Disability Accommodations.  One of the nice things about being a TA Sub is watching kids grow, knowing where they have come from.
I said that I bit my fingernails and pulled out every hair of my eyebrows in First Grade.  Maybe that’s why I’m willing to work as a One-on-One with the LD kids, because I know how difficult it is.  And why I carry a crochet hook and yarn so many places.  At least something pretty gets done by my fidgeting.  She did not seem to be very understanding about using a little more moving around to help with learning.

The last part of the afternoon was watching a dvd of The Magic Schoobus.  It tries to educate and entertain during each show, and gets the kids settled down before they get on the bus.

As I was walking to my car, an older man was looking anxiously towards the door of the building.  I asked if I could help him?  He said he had to pick up his grand-daughter, his daughter was having car trouble.  I told him that students are not allowed to cross the yellow line of the bus lane, and that he would have to pick up a child in the office if someone had called to make other arrangements.  He said he didn’t think anybody had called the office.  I told him that is still where he has to go if he wants to take a child off the property.
He seemed a bit confused, but I just shrugged and said “Rules are supposed to help us”

Long day, I tells ya.
First Grade.
Tough Job.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

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8 Responses to Students Fine, Teacher a bit Unreasonable

  1. Sharkey says:

    If I had been in your shoes, I think I would’ve gotten in trouble for telling the teacher off! She sure doesn’t seem very interested in helping the kids learn. The situation with the math/eraser kid raised my blood pressure a few points, and I wasn’t even there!

  2. MrsDoF says:

    Oh, Yes, Sharkey… the eraser situation was very very tense, but all the young students were watching.
    I am there a day at a time, they realize what’s going on.
    It’s not the first time I have been bullied for allowing a child to break a rule.
    My husband asked if I will Sub for that position again.
    I might have to think about it. But I do love that bunch of kids, watching the whole bunch gain maturity.

  3. Pam says:

    Sometimes you’ve just got to wonder ‘why’ a particular teacher is even IN a classroom dealing with special needs kids! In my volunteering with my group of special needs adults I sometimes see caregivers who seem totally oblivious to their charge(s); yes, they get a paycheck for what they do but they don’t seem to have a CLUE as to how to connect with these kids/adults! Drives me nuts! I’m sure after the eraser incident I would have asked to speak with the teacher in the hall at her first convenience…paycheck or not! There’s a level of decency/humanity which needs to be applied to ALL kids, special needs or other. Yes, she might have been having an ‘off’ day, but a little decency to YOU and your student would have gone a LONG way in this matter. I’ll get off my soapbox now….

  4. momma says:

    Boy it seems you could do no right in that teacher’s eyes. But you handled it as best you could and I’m sure the students really appreciate you helping out.

  5. Judy Harper says:

    You are a better person than me. I agree, though, some people shouldn’t be teachers. If she’s going through the change, maybe it should be suggested she see her doctor for some pills! This is to help the kids, more than her.

  6. MrsDoF says:

    Ah, Thank You, my Dear Ones, for some sympathy. I do feel a wee bit better having sounded off about my day.
    This particular teacher is usually pretty good, with her lesson plans. In fact, my youngest son was in her class way back when, and I had no troubles during Parent Conferences.
    Maybe it’s the co-worker problem rearing an ugly barricade of differing opinion.

    This year, our district is trying a whole lot of mainstreaming of students, keeping them in their own schools and bringing services to them, rather than long bus rides to specialty buildings.
    I’m not sure this teacher has ever had Special Needs students (at least the need for a TA) in her room before.
    Not being allowed to get a drink of water is a bit too rigid for anybody, especially children.

  7. dkzody says:

    Geez, Louise, this woman needs a long Thanksgiving break. Or, she needs to find another job. They are only first graders! she should come over and work at my high school for a week. Bet she would treat those little kids better after that.

  8. B D says:

    That teacher needs to spend the day with the 30 kids we gave the GED Test to today. Talk about ADD! They came from YouthBuild and most weren’t even close to being prepared for the test. I had to educate their principal who has never taught GED students and was already setting them up for disappointment and more failure because of her lack of knowledge and experience.
    I don’t think the menopause category would help her. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether a student is accustomed to haveing mom or dad rescue them from little challenges or whether they are just slower catching on.
    It’s good they have you to encourage them!!