Monday, June 06, 2011

So Much Harder than Even I Expected

Friday was the first day of summer vacation -- meaning the first day away from the dreaded 5 a.m. "grumbling out of bed" routine and putting on "business casual clothing" and combing my hair. Instead I stayed up Thursday night until 3 a.m. -- and got out of bed at 8 a.m., lolled around without my underwear, and ate when the mood struck me. I designated myself a three day weekend before I even began to tackled the "paper writing hell" that awaited me on Monday.

I must admit though, if I thought about the papers ahead of me, my stomach churned and my heart raced and my brain said, "Ho! Ho! You KNEW it would catch up to you!"

This morning I stumbled out of bed at 9 a.m. after finishing a Kindle novel and reading the KC Star on the Kindle. I swallowed the blood pressure meds and two strong aspirin "just in case" and opened the file for the most challenging of the papers. And . . . promptly realized I was in deep dodo. I honestly don't know how to do this stuff. I know I sat through an entire semester doing all these webinars about functional learners and strategies for them -- and gagged through almost all of it, swearing I'd never do this stuff.

Here's how bad are the case files for the students I have to write inclusion plans for: one 15 year old (in the 6th grade) had to have eye drops at 7 a.m. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The only way to get him to lie still and take the eye drops was to pretend the drops were a train and go "choo choo choo" as you put them in. That was just one of his problems. Another uses picture language to communicate because she's bi-lingual at home and her teachers claim they can't understand her.

How in the world do parents, clinicians, teachers, paraprofessionals, home care providers cope with all this?

I could not. Ever. I know that's probably a deficit in me. But I was never cut out to do this kind of work and I don't want to waste my time at this stage in my life pretending that I can / could / or even know how.

So . . . since I had already chatted with the prof for permission to elevate the students I had to plan for to high school level -- I put them all in MY high school, explained the building and our scheduling in an introduction -- and dropped the poor "choo choo" kid from the program, even though that was discrimination. Poor kid couldn't cope with our five story building with no elevators under any circumstances and I didn't want to figure out how to make it happen. I decided to let the chips fall where they may.

This means I only have four students to schedule and write lesson plans for. It's cheating, I know. But at least I'm recognizing the limitations facing some kids -- and where they should not be placed. Maybe I'll get some credit for that. And maybe not.

I'm studying the rubric for the paper closely -- if I can pull a B on the paper, I'm just fine with that. I'm actually figuring out what portions of the paper I can either avoid or skim over. I've got two weeks to figure this plan out (internal schedule that I set). The one after this one is not nearly so hard (fingers crossed) and I've given myself a week for that one.

If Rumpelstiltskin showed up about now, I'd have to think hard about trading something dear for two completed papers.


Donna said...

They sure expect a lot of you, don't they?

Margaret said...

Rotten papers! I love writing if I have an interest in or passion for my topic, but THIS? Good luck, my friend! You couldn't pay me enough to ghost write them.