Crazy Cat!

The cat is running back and forth like she’s being chased by a bat out of Hell.  She’s actually chasing her tail (or being chased by her tail).  Dogs do that but I’ve never seen a cat fall for it.  Crazy cat.  I think she misses Steven.  This is about the time I’d be getting him up and he’d be petting and feeding her. 

I called in sick this morning.  Took me an hour to go online and request a sub, write up detailed lesson plans for said sub, publish new rosters and attach them to the request, call the school and leave a message for the secretary (along with another copy of my student rosters and detailed lesson plans), call and let DIL #1 know that I’m not taking Holly to school today and arrange for her to take her as well as bring her home along with Jake.  I have a really difficult group of students this trimester and I wouldn’t dare leave a sub with less than adequate plans.  I have probably a half dozen “challenging” students each period and can’t take a deep breath from the start of the day until it’s over.  Probably would have been just as easy to go on in but I had stomach cramps and diarrhea most of the night and that’s NOT something to deal with when you’re trapped in a room with 30 high school students.  It takes an act of God to even find time to go to the restroom on my planning period.

I know I’ve been absent.  It doesn’t take much to totally throw me off track these days.  The deal with Jake really upset me and got me down.  In answer to some of the comments from my last post…my friends and colleagues were very supportive.  Jake’s teachers sent him letters and post cards and his teachers from last year and this year sent letters of support to the administration as well as the board.  He was seen by a child psychologist who said, “I don’t know why they sent you to me except that it’s a part of the process.  Jake appears to be a well-adjusted student who isn’t a threat to himself or other students.  He made a mistake that any eleven year old might make and my recommendation will be for him to return to school and resume his regular schedule.”

Of course, I expected that reaction but it didn’t sit well with me.  The entire process didn’t sit well and I don’t know who to blame.  Maybe no one is to blame.  Jake did something stupid that any kid might do (can’t blame him), the AP did what he was required to do (can’t blame him), the child psychologist did what she was required to do (can’t blame her) and it all worked out in the end.  Jake is back in school after being expelled for six days (the administration even lifted one day of the suspension and let him back in a day early.)  Still…it really didn’t sit well with me.  I guess it’s like so many things in this post nine-eleven society.  Jake brought a fake grenade paperweight to school and he was expelled for five days and has the incident on his permanent record.  I just don’t understand or agree with the process.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget him crying so hard he couldn’t even talk because he thought he was going to be sent to a school for “bad” kids and would lose all his friends.  I don’t think a normal kid doing stupid things any normal kid would do should be made to feel like a criminal.  In all honesty, everyone treated him well.  The administration was firm but they weren’t nasty or mean to him.  Of course, Jake is a smart kid and he knew he was in big trouble.  You don’t have to yell at him or threaten him.  He was devastated to learn that he was being expelled.  And there’s something really sad about that.  Something heart wrenching when good kids are hurt so badly for doing kid things that aren’t meant to harm anyone or anything.  And Jake’s not the same.  He came back to Moore but he doesn’t feel the same about it.  Doesn’t feel like one of the “top dogs” anymore.  The leaders and over achievers.  The honor kids who set examples for others.  He’ll probably get over it but maybe not.  I remember when I got my first “B” in college.  Something changes and you never feel quite the same after that.  Like you’re riding high and get knocked down a few notches.

I know I wanted special treatment for Jake.  I wanted him treated differently than other kids.  Everyone followed protocol so I shouldn’t feel hurt about what happened.  The problem is that I know that other kids are treated special.  We have kids who are a monumental pain in the ass.  Kids that you know are going to wind up behind bars and I see them being given so many breaks and receiving special treatment all the time.  Protocol is set aside because of one thing or another and they get all kinds of breaks.  That’s why it hurt so bad when Jake was put through the process.

Enough.  It’s behind us and we’re moving on. Jake will handle it and his self-esteem may suffer but he’s a great kid and he’ll be okay in the end.  Me?  I took a real close look at retirement and decided to stay for a while.  I’m not sure if this will be my last year but it probably will.  I have a rough group of students and it takes a lot to deal with them everyday.  It leaves me worn out and I never get out of the building without putting in a couple hours overtime each day writing up referrals or calling parents.  I don’t get to do the kind of things I like to do with students because they don’t handle it very well.  I’m forced to keep them busy with lots of worksheets and “busy work” because they climb the walls if I try to let them do something fun or creative.  Maybe next trimester will be better but this one feels like my class is a dumping ground for every student that they don’t know what to do with.

And now, I guess I need to get back on the Honolulu Choo Choo.  I got derailed and I’ve got to get back on track.


beerab says 27th September @ 20:58

Those permanent records mean nothing IMO. Colleges don’t care what you did before high school anyways, and jobs will never know about it- it’s in a permanent record that’s unimportant IMO. He sounds like a good kid and will bounce back, and one day he’ll look back on it and laugh IMO. 🙂

Glad to see you post- get back in the game girl 🙂

jewlz280 says 28th September @ 17:25

So, this is the second time I’ve come back to read this and I have to say the more I read it, the more annoyed I become. Mostly because, I had an issue in school and had the same problems. I was treated like a monster all because I REFUSED to apologize for something even if the teacher felt I should. I won’t lie… it affected me and still as an adult it burns me up to think about it. It never went on my record, though. My parents made sure of that and since I was in high school, that was important. So, I know that for many people it may not be a big deal, but for me, I’d fight this. I’d at LEAST go to the school board to speak about how there needs to be some common sense in dealing with these issues. I GET that the teacher who saw him with the souvenir was following protocol, but COME ON. Common sense would’ve been the easiest route to follow…. for all of them involved. So, I completely understand your frustration. If he had been a problem kid and had done this, different story. But he was a good kid with a good reputation who did good things and is being overly punished because of other kid’s actions that have NOTHING to do with him or who he is.

Even if nothing changes and even if it is all the same, it’s going to matter to Jake. Just knowing that you have faith and you supported him can and will make the difference in how this affects the rest of his life. He needs to understand that it was a bad choice, but that HE is not bad and that you all love him, believe in him, and KNOW him. That’s how I made it through. Seeing my timid Mom and Dad stand up to the teacher and principal made me realize that even if they wanted to hang me out to dry for something so stupid, THEY KNEW ME and knew who I was. I was an honor student, well known and in every club, and was even one of those teacher’s helpers, too. In the end, it means nothing and has not changed my life (the incident) but the way my family and other staff at the school did.

I hope you are able to find some sort of way to deal with this that helps you all. I try not to carry grudges, but some things are so over the top, you have to fight and make a point, or you’re just going to sit and stew on it for the rest of your life. Not saying that will happen to Jake, but it may eat at you. So, you have to do what will work for YOU and help you to help HIM. Good luck!

susan says 30th September @ 8:56

Thinkin’ of ya.

brseay says 3rd October @ 19:14

I haven’t been on here for a while and I’m not sure how to respond. Obviously, being in education, we know the school had to follow protocol so the logical part of your brain can’t fault anyone. But the emotional part; the part that has given kids chance after chance after chance, the part that saw Jake crying so hard he couldn’t speak–doesn’t always listen to the logical part.

Since it has been a week or so since you posted this, how has the return been?

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