Week 16: Tying up loose ends

As the quarter winds to a close, I think I need to tie up some loose ends, for myself even if no one else is reading.  This is my inquiry note base, in a very modest way.

First, on running with scissors:  the offender is being expelled.  While I hope it is  best for her, it is clearly best for the safety of the other students.  It breaks my heart, though to see a picture of her chipper little face grinning out at me, because she is such a dichotomous person.  She is eager and happy to an extreme, and violently angry to the same extreme.  I hope she gets help, and still wish I could have had the skill or power to fix her up, to heal her little heart.

UPDATE:  There is some talk about her being considered for Special Ed, which would mean she would return to the school.  I will make sure to attend this IEP, as I feel she needs an ED class, but not Special Ed otherwise.  She is at the same level as my other students, higher than many of them skills-wise.

The girl who was placed in my class the other day, that I was in such a snit about was actually appropriately placed, and it doesn’t seem to matter that it’s the end of the semester.  She seems delighted to be there, glitter lip gloss and all.  She has blended right in, within a day.  Even though she hasn’t read the teleplay we are working on, she is eagerly trying to create a sequential map of its events.  Now if only I could rein in the others in that oh, so rowdy class.  They exhaust me.

UPDATE:  She completely fits in with the talkers.  She is a happy girl with very low skills.  Her placement is appropriate, I think.

Yesterday  I received another new student in my ELD class.  He has brown skin and a “z” in his last name, but other than that I have no indication that he is an English Learner.  He doesn’t think he is, and he wasn’t in ELD classes at his last school (from which he was expelled for bringing a gun to school.  He said it was a toy. but the school sounded pretty grim when they called about his records and mentioned that he had been expelled.  They said he was expelled, not put on a suspended expulsion. EXPELLED.  Like a hard expulsion, not a soft one.)  I kind of like him, but doubt that he’ll do much.  He brought his grades, a fine display of failure, and just seems kind of lost.  Then I found out his cum was sent to the local tech charter school last month.  So the question arises, did he get expelled from there too?  Are we the last stop on the line?  As much as I hope I can be of help to him, that is not reason enough to put a non-English Learner in an ELD class.  Brown skin and a “z” in the last name, indeed.

UPDATE:  He lasted only one more day.  Apparently when a student is expelled from one school in CA, they may not attend another public school while expelled.  This is to prevent them just moving around from school to school.  ) I’d imagine the gun toting had an influence on the matter as well.I later learned that the district truant officer had found this boy and brought him in to enroll without knowing his history.  His home life is n0nexistant,it seems.  It was believed that his dad was fleeing from probation.  It breaks my heart to hear a story like his.  They all arrive in the world new and fresh, with unlimited potential.  It is the people entrusted with their well-being that do these things to them.

Today was a big collaboration meeting for the ELA  and ELD teachers which was attended by the county PI consultant, the District Executive Director of Ed Services and the district literacy coach.  Ho hum.  I always feel behind on this stuff.  It takes my students so long to get through anything, that I seem to only teach a little bit of everything, but nothing really thoroughly.  Makes me tired.  It all makes me tired, but I’m getting involved.  Finally.  Now if only I could get my 2nd & 3rd period class to shut up.  And Gerardo to quit acting like he’s having sex with the electric pencil sharpener.  That would be great.  Although I bet Gerardo gets worse before he gets better…

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