Musings on a Monday

As I emerge from the mountain of grading the end of the term brings and the four IEPs I have to write along with the progress reports, my mind wanders to my weekend. I’ve decided to write about it instead of my work as our IEP Writing system program is down. Oh well.

 Such a nice weekend. Beautiful warm weather here for January. Z and I took lots of long walks and got treats and coffee at our local bakery. We played outside for hours with dried beans and little toys and threw a basketball around. We visited choo choo tracks and waited for a train. He took a long nap so I got to read the paper, write a little bit, almost finish up a hat. The warm winter here has made me itch for spring. I’m so excited to start our garden in our little yard this year. Last year was a trial run.

 The day’s almost over here and it went pleasantly quickly. I want to rush out of here, grab groceries and go home to the mayhem that the house turns into with “boys’ day”. When Papa is in charge the dishes pile up, the toys are everywhere, there is no nap. But I get a wonderfully sleepy, happy little boy at the end of the day. Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and let it be.

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Grading, Grading, Grading

It’s near the end of the term here so as you can guess, I have a stack of grading to do. As I write down my 73%s and maybe an 85%, I feel a little sad inside. Grading a group of special education students is difficult, because how do you grade them? Especially with writing when they ALL have some sort of disability that makes writing hard for them. Do I grade them against their best work, what I know they can do? Do I grade the kids who strive to be in a regular ELA class against regular education kids so they know what they’re up against?

It’s tricky because if I grade too hard, they lose confidence. However, if I grade too easily, they become complacent. I would prefer not to grade at all and just write more extensive comments but they strive for that number, that measurement. And sometimes the kid who does no work, makes no effort really needs to see that F. I think often special education students expect to be pulled through, to pass, even if they are not willing to put in the effort. I often tell parents I can’t modify your kid’s work until I see what he can do. And right now he’s not doing anything. How do you modify nothing?

Tonight was one of those nights I’m not proud of. Z is phasing out of his nap and hasn’t napped for three days. Although I miss the time, bedtime has been quicker and he’s slept better at night and a little later in the morning. Today at daycare, he napped and had a great day but came home and was whining and complaining nonstop. He would not take no for an answer but would just ask for the same thing over and over again like a broken record. Finally when he was watching his nightly video and complaining about THAT, I lost it. I said no movie, go to bed. Not my most mindful moments. What toddler takes no for an answer and I should know it’s hard to hold it together all day. Of course, he’s going to lose it a little bit at home. But there’s something about listening to middle schoolers (and sometimes other teachers!) complain all day and then have to listen to it at home too that can wear on you after a while.

We went to his room and after a little crying and fussing and a goodnight talk from Papa, he surprisingly turned it around and we had a lovely time reading stories and singing songs together. When I left the room, I heard the pitter-patter of feet and some chatting, but now it’s quiet and I’ll go shut the door soon. I think he was begging for me to put him to bed.

Now for knitting mittens and Modern Family and early bed. I hope!