I had a meltdown

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Wiped Out, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    at work yesterday morning. I don't get upset very easily especially over work but yesterday I just melted down.

    As some of you might remember this year I have quite the load of Special Education kiddos in my room. Add to that several students with-o ieps that also have behavior problems-more easy child type but still on the high end.

    Well, last week we found out we were getting a new allocation so I thought I would be seeing some real relief because although I love all the kids it really is a lot.

    Two of my Special Education kids are going to a friends room and we will be teaming. I will still have 6 Special Education kids left and I have about 4 difficult children in my room. I figured I would give two kids that were not difficult children by any means but still can cause problems to different rooms. Everybody told me that made sense. It wasn't easy because I love the two kids but to meet needs in the room it is what should have been done.

    So yesterday (after not hardly sleeping the night before) I go in to find out that other than the two Special Education. children, none of the ones I suggested had been moved. Both parents had written notes saying they didn't want their children moved from my room because they like my behavior management. Instead they moved out two quiet well behaved children.

    Now I don't mind having my share but when I know some teachers have 0 behavior problems in their classes it is time to spread the wealth. There is one teacher that doesn't deal well with certain children so that teacher doesn't have any behavior or academic issues.

    I just started sobbing. Right there in the back of the office. Thank goodness there was a door so I had some privacy. Thankfully my friends were with me and all know how hard this has been. All week the specials classes have said what a hard class I have and how I need to move certain children.

    I spoke with the principal, a specials teacher spoke with the principal, a Special Education. teacher spoke also and now one of those students is being moved. It won't alleviate much but the lower numbers should help.

    I can believe I melted down. My only consolation is I wasn't the only teacher this week that did melt down. It seems that the more competent you are the more they give you.

    Thanks for listening to my vent-I know things will get better, at times it is overwhelming. On the bright side, my students really seem to be enjoying the class this year.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry this is shaping up to be such a rough year for you. It truly isn't fair that because the parents wrote letters you continue to be so overloaded. Can your union rep make any headway? Even doing your best every student will miss out with so many challenging students in one room.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm so sorry, Sharon. I don't blame you- it's a wonder you've stood all this as long as you've had and the way this transpired would have m,ade the best of us snap. It's a shame that things had to get to this point before they make sure you get some relief.

    I hope you can relax this weekend and that difficult child stays on track- you don't need any more stress. {{HUGS}}
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sharon that's alot for anyone to expect from one person. I don't blame you for losing it. Sure it's nice that parents obviously appreciate your teaching and how you are with the kids, but your super hero cape can only cover so many. I'm glad they've moved a few of the kids around in an attempt to help everyone. Cuz if you're stretched too darn thin it won't matter how darn good you are...the quality and effectiveness goes down.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.....these kids are darn lucky to have you.

  5. Sharon,

    I agree with Daisylover - these kids are lucky to have you.

    But you are just one person with waaaaay too much on your plate. Would there be any possibility of getting a couple of aides to work with you?

    If that's not possible, would it be helpful to have parents come in on a rotating basis to assist? I know that I would definitely be willing to do that for my difficult child's teachers.
    If that would not be helpful (maybe more work than it's worth?) ... how about student interns? I utilized them heavily when I managed a program that didn't have the $$$ to hire more staff. It was some extra work, I won't lie, but ultimately it was a great win-win proposition. It sounds like you are such a good teacher that students could really benefit from observing and working with you. (See I have some parental self interest in this :) )

    You and your students are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I can certainly understand why you melted down. Take it as a compliment, though, how the parents didn't want their kids moved. It just shows how competent you are and that the parents think you are the best for the job. Kudos for you. Can I send you my brood?;)
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You were entitled to your meltdown. They've got to do something. Your plate is too full.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I realize that working with any specific group- whether it be animals, older people, kids with special needs, etc- is more effective with people who seem to have a special "knack" for it. But, some of it must be skill and technique and understanding, etc. Sharon, I'm thinking you must be blessed with both the knack and the skill/understanding.

    So, I'm wondering, what if you found a way to "teach" others- or at least one other teacher in the school what has worked best for you for certain kids- maybe "these two boys" or "these with adhd" or these with "xxx challenges".

    difficult child had one aide in one collaborative class last year that really knew how to get difficult child on board- engaged and motivated, etc. The others in the other classes didn't have behavioral problems with difficult child either, but since they didn't, they apparently did nothing to help him. I brought this out to the IEP team several times. First, I said she should get a raise and an acknowledgement (I don;t know what she gets paid), second - it proves what he can do if a different approach is taken by teachers- I apologized for having to bring to the forefront that she made other teachers look bad- not difficult child, and, thirdly- since she obviously knew how to keep difficult child involved and on track and doing well, and it wasn't because he liked her because he didn't ( :D ) , could she "help the other teachers" with what were the best ways to work with my son that brought out the best in him.

    They looked at me like I had asked them to walk on the moon.

    I don't know what has happened to our school system- but just like some other things in our society, it seems like common sense has left the building and they don't know what to do with it when someone tries to bring it back in.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    You send us the link to the teacher of the year award and we'll be SURE to send one in!

    Honest to Pete - SIX difficult child's????? YIKES.......

  10. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    I know from experience that Special Education teachers MANY times get the raw end of the deal with placement. It's not that you don't care and want to do the best you can. THAT'S WHY YOU WENT INTO THIS FIELD.

    But it can be a dumping ground. And I mean that in the most politest sense. But when you mixed needs children and overload the teachers...hon, it just doesn't work.

    I remember well one school I worked at where they had overloaded kids with behavior problems versus kids who had physical problems. It made me sick. I'm over threre giving Paul a nice guicey raisin because he wasn't having a fit and trying to deal with Sarah who is Autistic but very smart. You don't treat them in the same way. Yeah, we know Sarah is smart, but she can't give her verbal report. Ummm...hello? Can't we bend just a tad and find her a better way to express herself? Is that too much to ask.

    You guys are so in demand, and there are so many teachers that can't take the few seconds to redirect a child so they look to you. Actually, many demand you. Well? why can't you take Johnnie? I'm already 2 over max. What's 2? A LOT sometimes.

    What I have seen over the 22 years is that if you do not stand your ground, you're going to be prevented from giving what YOU know as an educator. I don't know ONE state in the country is dieing for SE educators. It's a risk to put it on the line, but the ball is in your court hon. You're good at what you do and they know it. Don't let them bully you down. You want quality education? Well, here are my terms to make that happen.

  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie-Great idea but unfortunately our union can't do anything. We can have up to 30% Special Education. in our rooms before they will do anything-I'm bordering on that but not over.

    Klmno-difficult child's at respite right now so it is a relaxing weekend. There are other teachers who also work well with Special Education kids and other problem behavior kids but because some don't and won't learn the rest of us get overloaded.

    Lisa-That's what we keep trying to tell our district-we are spread too thin-wish they would listen. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    OneDay-I do try to utilize a lot of help. There is an aide in my room and 1/2 time a Special Education teacher. I also take practicum and/or student teachers when I can get them. I also ask for parent volunteers during key times. Thanks for the prayers!

    Loth-I'll take your brood when they hit 4th and 5th grade:)

    Heather-Thanks for the hugs.

    Star-How sweet! Only about 4 are true difficult children the others are still a handful but not quite difficult child status!

    Abbey-Actually, I'm not a sepcial ed. teacher. I'm a regular ed teacher but we have full inclusion in our district for almost all of the Special Education kiddos even the high need ones and year after year I end up being the room that Special Education kiddos are put into which I don't mind but just feel it should rotate or that rooms should not be overloaded. You are also right that sometimes 1 or 2 more is a lot and many don't get that. You are right though about being more assertive. I wish I was more so. Another teacher at my school is under similar circumstances and says she is either going to retire or look at other job postings because she is so frustrated. I was thinking about looking at postings too but right now with difficult child coming to my school after school might make that impossible.

    Thanks you everyone for your support and kind words, they are truly appreciated. I really do hate that I melted down but it was my breaking point-it's just too much in one room. Thankfully the aide I work with and the spec. ed teacher I work with are good but even with two or three of us it's a lot. One of the kids alone, pretty much demands a 1 on 1 even though we aren't allocated for it.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think it's time to take it to the parents. I know when our classrooms were getting too full, the teachers made sure they let the parents know at the conferences, when you dropped kids off, whenever they saw you. And it worked. They weren't inappropriate about it, but they didn't hide their concerns either.

    Parents raised hell and changes were made. Some of those changes may have included new levies, but the parents (at least in our SD) were willing to pay an extra $50.00 per year on their property taxes in order to make those changes. We have a pretty active PTA and they get the word out.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    It's ashame that principals seems to weight for the melt down before a change is made. I'm glad steps were made to provide relief.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If all parents knew that this small amount would make a change for the better in the school, I feel sure that most would find it somewhere in their pocket- or couch cushions. :)
  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    gentle hugs, I am sure difficult child II's teacher could relate to you, he has difficult child II and 5 other BD boys and 1 Boy with Autism (grades 4th, 5th & 6th), he does have a 350 lb male aide to assist him though.
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs to you on the meltdown...it happens to the best of us, as my Nana used to say. It's nice that the parents want you, but you're carrying such a heavy load this year. I agree with Heather, see if parent involvement can work for you.
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?


    I think this is why K was placed in her current class. The Teacher is the best with special needs. They have put in a few more since school started, ODD'ish kids. I hope they are done, so she does not become overloaded either.

    Big Hugs to you...