Two days running, I have been placed with the older kids. Today I arrive, to find out that we are an aide down, and actually two down on what we had yesterday. I had my day already planned out for me, but it was becoming increasingly obvious, that the challenge of 'just cook some muffins' was going to prove quite difficult. I had eight kids, one down syndrome, two non verbal but basically able, one with the intellect of a 4 year old, one who has violent outbursts (she was the one who hit me last term) one boy who spoke and was well behaved, another girl who was well behaved and verbal and able.......... At this point trying to keep them all around the table was challenge, but we had sung some songs and read a story and it didn't look like I had any aides coming any time soon. So I took them into the kitchen, only to have two aides arrive and basically take over!! Half an hour later they left me to feed some of the other students, and left me with muffins cooking, and more to cook, children I had to supervise and keep muffins up to them as they walked around the school selling them - I even had other teachers ringing me asking where the muffins were!!!!! Meanwhile another kid had arrived, who was really hard work. He kept touching the other kids and destroying everything that he came into contact with!! And I was alone!
I kept patient, I kept strong, I kept going and managed to cope with the day. I did ask for help at one stage, as it was obvious that 9 to 1 was not going to work. I had another teacher come in and help me. It was great because he was physically strong enough to hold one of the boys. We took them to the gym and it took two of us to keep him on the treadmill, we had him nailed to the handle bars while he was trying to stop it. He enjoyed it, but wants to create havoc more! We had to lock ourselves in, to keep kids from going out - well that one in particular. We couldn't keep him on that treadmill for ever. He got a great workout and so did the others, it was good fun teaching them shoulder presses and putting them on the rowing machines..... My aides spent most of the day in the toilet - no wonder I had to cope on my own. Toileting is quite labour intensive when you are dealing with wheelchair bound kids - and apparently one of the hoists was out of action.
The afternoon I assisted the other teacher and that was pretty cruisy! I wasn't on my own - and the difficult kids were in another room.....
I am sitting quietly and enjoying a glass of expensive semillion. MMMmmmmm, I think I deserved it.
Had a great day - wonder what tomorrow has in store for me!