Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Where Am I?

Remember I had all that stuff in the summer about whether or not I got my job? Eventually, I had the job. It's paid for out of some funds designated for our program - a classroom for students with needs for a special ed teacher, special ed assistant and mental health therapist. The funds were accessed, I guess, back in the Spring to set up the classrooms, buy equipment, and hire staff (including me).

The problem is, we have no kids yet.

In order to make sure the kids we serviced were really, truly given the chance to stay in the least restrictive environment (educator-speak for allowing kids to stay as close as possible to a typical education), there are multiple steps & tiers on the way to our classroom.

We're really the last step before being put in an institutional facility, due to behavioral issues. So, tough kids. We are also the first step for the kids in an institution to try to work their way back down to a regular classroom.

All this stuff takes a lot of charting & record keeping. Mental Health services are part of it. And the kids have to be from the right area. Meetings must be called in order to determine whether the kid needs to move the next step up the ladder, or if something can be done to accomodate them where they are currently placed to help them improve. Each time the teachers, parents, mental health & whoever else is involved wants to change the placement, it's another meeting.

Since so many players are involved, it usually takes a few weeks to get the meetings together.

If it takes about 8 meetings before a kids is actually placed in our class, it would take at least two months to work up the steps to get to my classroom. Unless someone was already at the top of that ladder, we have to wait until they go through all the hoops. Apparently no one was at the top of the ladder, so we are sweating not having any kids.

The administrator for the program has to put "0" down for number of students being served when he sends in his report on how the program is going.

What does this mean? Well, they got funding for two years - I don't know if/when there's a deadline for actually having kids in the classroom - we are so ready!! My teacher is concerned. My supervisor is concerned. Therefore, I am concerned. The deadline could be approaching, and then the funding will be yanked - I'll find out when I'm told I'm laid off or being moved to another position.

In the meantime, I've spent some time working at the High School, I've done trainings for the computer system & such in my classroom, and now I'm working to help at my old job of the last 4 years, basically just so I'm not sitting in an empty room. They currently have more staff than students at my old job... So - I'm not really needed there either. At least I get to visit with people and do something that feels like work.

It could all change tomorrow - someone calls a meeting for a student ready to enter our classroom. Then we're good. Heck, we are supposed to be able to work with at least 8 kids, from K to 8th grade!! We could have a bunch of kids.

I hate the not knowing part of it.



keeka said...

Yikes, and welcome to how my world has been the last 4 years! I never know where I will be and in what classroom! I am truly hoping I am staying put! I will pray that you get some students soon!
I know the waiting is hard, but hopefully things will just have a way of working out!
Good luck!

Myrna said...

Just wondering if the teachers in the district know what is available? Communication within the schools is always subpar---probably because of info overload. But the classroom teachers will be the first to recognize the kids you could serve and would be tickled for the help...perhaps a sort of marketing is needed?