Getting Time Off

25 Feb

02/25/2006

I’ve put up a couple of posts that cover a bit of why I’m here and what I’m looking to do, below. Skim over them. They may or may not interest you.

I’m just wrapping up a week off for “winter break.” I noticed that quite a lot of other teachers are off as well. Ms. Frizzle has been wandering around Holland somewhere and has posted a few pictures.

This break is not part of the regular, traditional schedule. Our school district went on a “Balanced Calendar” two years ago. This basically means that school starts in July, then we get a week-long break in October, another in November and then two weeks for the holidays. We had this past week, and then next month we have spring break before we get out at the end of May. I generally like it better, especially that October break. The stretch between the start of school and Thanksgiving used to be waaaay long! But to be honest, this past week I could have done without in exchange for getting out a week earlier.

Breaks for my kids are tough. Actually, they pose challenges for most parents, but students with special needs really get out of whack. Students who lack the ability to self-regulate do poorly without structure and routine. Home time in our house typically lacks both during breaks from school. Both of my own children will be glad to get back to their routine. My students will also be glad, but they will also punish us for not having school. I think they blame us teachers for shutting the doors and not being there.

But that’s what the good folks of Magnolia County pay us for. To keep their kids off the street and out of everyone else’s hair.

I’ve been up for jury duty this past week, and have one more week to go. I did go in last week, but they didn’t wind up needing me. I wouldn’t have minded going in last week, as it would have been an educational way to get a few extra dollars. However, next week will be bad if I have to go in. I call everyday after 5:00 and type in my number and they let me know if I have to report. I’m good through Monday.

A substitute isn’t worth a lot in our room. We are a hands-on outfit. A body needs to be able to lift, change diapers and know something about seizures and other medical conditions in order to be very useful. Otherwise, they sort of sit around while everyone else does the work. They can’t do discrete trial and they can’t take data. So there isn’t much they can do outside of pushing a wheelchair to lunch or during a fire drill. So if anyone is out, it poses a hardship on everyone else even if we do get a sub, which doesn’t always happen. Plus, they are often pulled from our room, anyway.

dick

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