Sunday, March 15, 2009

March means new students, maybe

Just as we are starting to really feel settled and comfortable I learned that I would be getting 2 new students. 2 students who are much younger than the other students in the classroom who would both significantly impact the dynamic of the classroom because of their intense needs.

The first student came to visit with her parent back in February. February was when Ms. S was out for several days and I was primarily working by myself. Unfortunately the blog entries that detailed my thoughts on this experience were deleted. Anyway the child and parent visited during indoor recess so unfortunately I wasn't able to talk with them as much as I would have liked. The parent told me that she was not impressed, and that the room was chaotic and that level of the other kids seemed too high. I apologized and explained that it was louder than usual because it was indoor recess and my para was out. At the end of the visit the parent actually asked her child if she liked school and wanted to come. The child said no. I pointed out that the parent gets to make the decision and that the child may just enjoy spending time with the parent visiting potential schools. The parent left and I did not hear anything from her or the special education department. I wasn't too concerned as people come to visit various programs and are looking for different things.

A few weeks went by and I saw the parent coming out of another class in the building with her child. So I assumed that she found another program that she thought was more appropriate for her daughter. I was professional and asked the parent how things were going and she said everything was great and the other program was a better fit for her and her child. Fast forward 2 weeks. I went into school this past Tuesday to be greeted by the special education coordinator for our building telling me that child needed to be in my room, effective immediately. OK so no time to prepare things in the room for the student's arrival or to prepare my other students for the new addition to our community of learners. No big deal, we have to be flexible sometimes.

The student spent the day with us on Tuesday and everything seemed OK. When I spoke with the parent after school, I was taken aback by some of her comments and questions. I did my best, but felt that the parent was not satisfied by my answers. Tuesday after school and Wednesday morning I prepared somethings in the classroom for the student. I wanted her to have her name around the room, to have a space to put her belongings, etc. Something kept me up all night Tuesday, just felt very unsettled by all of the events ad conversations of the day. The student was not in school for the remainder of the week. We are supposed to call after 3 absences but I did not have a working phone number. Does this mean that the student will not be returning? Is the mother going to look for another program for the child? I don't know and I don't know if anyone in the building will know...only time will tell.

The second student I assume is still coming. The student and his parents came to visit twice. There was a lot of miscommunication between the special education department and the parents. They asked for some materials prior to the student starting, which I compiled and mailed to them. As far as I know as of last Monday everything was still a go. The question is when exactly will the student start? I am assuming next week, but I cannot be entirely sure. Stay tuned for updates.


  1. It is so hard to adapt a classroom that has already been established with personalities and routines. It is even harder to impress everyone at the same time and constantly worry about the criticism of one of your parents. However, it sounds like you are doing everything that you can and I'm sure you'll handle the changes admirably.

  2. TeachEnEspanol, thank you for the understanding and encouraging words. One of the students came today and things seemed to go more smoothly than they did last week, so I am hopeful.