Thursday, May 29, 2008
I subbed today for a special education program in the middle school called the HOPE program. It's an acronym for something, I forget what. But it's supposed to be for very emotionally challenged kids. The kids who get kicked out of regular classrooms for misbehavior. The kids who can't stay focused long enough to get anything done. It's a tough room. Sadly, I felt like a babysitter for the day. Students came in and out of the room during different periods. Most had one-on-one aides who sat with them and tried to get them to get some work done. Not much was accomplished. I had one student, A., who was in the room the entire day because he simply can't stay in a classroom and behave. Although he had plenty of work to do, he did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because he didn't want to. I kept a running timeline of what A. did during the day and it came down to "he read his book for a total of approximately ten minutes". The rest of the time he just sat. Or put his head down on his desk. Or annoyed the other students. I don't know how to deal with this. I don't have any techniques to motivate this child to do some work. I had a hard time just getting him to sit and be quiet and leave the other children alone. I felt like I'd accomplished my goal because I finished the day 1) without sending him to the principal's office and 2) without going home with a headache. It makes me sad......that there are so many kids like this who just will not make any effort to comply. Who dont' see that the future holds for them absolutely nothing if they can't even make an effort to do their schoolwork. And they have all the help they need. The teachers in this program bend over backwards to give them leeway, but they just don't care. How are these kids going to survive in society in ten years???