Sunday, October 4, 2009


September's over, I actually consider grabbing my sweater when the fire drill bells ring now. Lenasha has been hunting me down- the seniors are required to do some community service. I have been trying to arrange something with the day care center across the street. Thirty years ago when I suspected I would not make it through my first year of teaching a special ed middle school class in the South Bronx, I applied for a position as a head teacher at the very same center. I honestly don't recall if I was offered the position but I do remember deciding to stick it out with the Board of Education. So now as I approach my 55th birthday I have enough years to retire this summer. Scary on so many levels. Anyway twice before the fire drill bells have dumped us all onto the streets of Southern Queens, and both times I tried to find the director of the day care center, unsuccessfully. Friday, another fire drill (perhaps unsanctioned- but nontheless effective) sent us out again onto the streets. While the staff took down the license plate numbers of cars that refused to heed the handheld stop signs a news helicopter circled overhead, perhaps looking for a better story than middle schoolers respond to yet another fire drill in early autumn. I took the opportunity to yet again find the day care director who perhaps wasn't yet born the first time I entered the center decades ago in search of a job.

Successful at last, the director agreed to interview two senior girls (after she carefully interviewed me about the nature of our high school- I suspect she worried we were an alternative hs for some sort of trouble kids). I passed the number onto to Lenasha - the ball's in her court now.

I am waving the white flag on the IEP issue. The instructions I got from the liason person appear to be correct even if the are contradictory from previous practices and the document currently posted on the Department's website. So back to the computer and our cranky IEP computer program.

A word about the 9th grade inclusion class. Our original plan had me spending only a couple of periods a week in the inclusion science class since the science teacher is so strong and the numbers are actually reasonable. However when I did drop by my experience felt like that old self contained special ed middle school class that I wrote about way up at the top of the posting. As the decades rolled by the names and protocol changed. No longer do we pigeon hole students into a separate class in a separate wing (or basement of the school) nor do we label students Neurological Impaired or health compromised. Now we put them in the same Regent bound curriculum and bar them from high school diploma if they cannot master the abstractions of quadratic equations or memorize the Greek prefixed names of the mitotic cell division. So no matter what the IEP says I am showing up more often even though I've given up aligning my schedule withing the union contract. Good thing today's NY Time magazine article says that anxiety prone people are better when they are kept busy at work,

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