Thursday, April 10, 2008

This morning.

Today has been one of those mornings here at work, where it has been one emotionally exhausting thing right after another.

You all know about my mow hawk boy, well he's been pissed off at me lately. He tried ditching a few days ago again and I called him out on it, so in his eyes, I turned all mean and evil teacher on him. He has been giving me the cold shoulder and today I decided to try my luck and attempted to talk to him. He totally tried to blow me off and told me he didn't care about anything anymore. After using some humor and begging I finally got him to come sit with me outside. He started opening up a bit and I learned a lot more about his home life. It's not the worst situation I've seen, but still very hard. I can't blame him for being so pissed off all the time.

These conversations are hard. I have to hold it together, be understanding, listen when they want to talk and not take it personally when they don't. I find myself using silliness and humor a lot, so far it's a tactic that gets me the farthest with these kids. But I don't always have the energy for it.

We went back in class and I saw one of my girls grimacing while holding her stomach. She asked me the other day if there was anything, other than being pregnant, that could cause someone to miss their period. She told me it was because of her friend. Um. Yeah. Right. So I've been keeping my eye on her. After class we took a little field trip to the Health Center here on campus. She swore to me she was not having sex, but yes, she was the one with the missed periods. She also seemed incredibly unsure when I asked if she could be pregnant. She is 14 and has many many emotional problems. Her home life is a disaster. I stayed upbeat and professional, but during our walk to the health center all I could think about is "what in the hell is going to happen if this test comes out positive". I stayed with her while she was seen by a nurse practitioner and took the test. It was negative.

She wasn't in much of a state to immediately go back to class so she followed me back to my office. There, I had a message from a mom. Mom is upset because her son, who is a senior, is not going to graduate because of the CA High School Exit Exam. This is the first year that students with IEPs have had to take the exam to graduate. Without the exam our graduation rate for kids with IEPs is next to nothing. This year, it's more like nothing. Well, we have a couple, but my student isn't one of them. Breaking the news to him earlier this week was heartbreaking. He has busted ass to complete all the graduation requirements. But this test, this test. He's taken it five times and he just can't get past the math portion. His words with tears in his eyes were "four years, four years...all gone because of this fucking test". Today, I got word that he will still be able to walk at Graduation in June if I move him onto another program that will continue to administer the test (with modifications) until he passes! Mom was ecstatic, I still haven't told my boy. I'm sending out a pass as I write this.

There was still more drama that followed, but I'm tired of writing about it and I'm sure you're tired of reading about it. This is a long entry and I know those can get boring. On to the rest of the day.

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