Am I the only one with this problem?
Okay, probably not, but I am a first year teacher... so I feel helpless. I have (like we all do) a handful of students with behavior disorders, autism, ADHD, seizures, and an uncountable number of other disorders, disabilities, etc.
My intial thought of these students: it breaks my heart. I feel for them and I love them.
My second thought: What in the hell do I do? I don't have any experience in this world of helping those who are helpless.
I had a student who is 6 years old sit in class, perfectly content and behaving normally. Next thing I know, he shoves a whole piece of paper in his mouth. When I told him to take it out, he went to the trash can and pretended to spit it out. But instead, he swallowed it. He then proceeded to ask me in a very adorable and innocent face, "Excuse me, Ms. Thomas, may I please go get a drink?"
When he untied his shoes a moment later, he started screaming at the top of his lungs that he needed help. The class was singing and playing a game in a circle. I asked him to sit down and when he could sit quietly for one minute, I would help him tie his shoes. He went to a chair, knocked it over and started screaming at me at the top of his lungs. I tried ignoring it for a moment and when I realized that it certainly was not going to work (because the class was standing dumb-founded staring at him) I called the office and asked for his autism teacher. She came down and had to literally drag him out of the room screaming.
I felt terrible, but what exactly what I supposed to do? I need some serious intervention, myself. I nearly threw a fit myself because I felt so helpless.
One more: I was so excited to pass our recorders to a certain third grade class earlier this week. They came in with their money and were begging to play those things for two whole weeks. I walked in that day (my fourth time seeing the class) with the box of their recorders, which already had their names on them. I had a great lesson planned that I knew they would really enjoy. When I walked to the front of the class to start, I noticed an aide and two students sitting in the front. I had never seen them before. I asked if they were in the class. The aide said yes and asked if I had something planned for them. She told me they cannot play recorders or other instruments. They are nonverbal and cannot speak, sing, or play. But that I should have planned ahead and modified my lesson for all students with all levels of learning. She then took the students out of the classroom and they didn't come back.
Okay... I believe that those students deserve to have music class. How was I supposed to plan for students that I didn't know before they got there for the first time? No one told me that they were even in the class, because they had never come before. Also, and more importantly, what am I going to do with them? They literally sit there practically restrained screaming and crying for 40 minutes... yes, literally. They disrupt the entire class the entire time. I have to yell over them. That certainly isn't fair to anyone else, either. Those poor kids have only one form of communication: crying. They cannot speak our language, so they scream. This breaks my heart. But no one is winning, here. WHAT DO I DO?
Sooner or later, I am going to need to go to the school counselor for mental issues.