A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Honesty is such a lonely word... especially at finals time

So what do I do with this????

I am frantically hunched over my desk grading essay questions, because I am a fool who didn't just do multiple choice for her final exams. I am excited because I think I may get an entire class done and their final grades entered when in walks one of my students' special ed aides. She completely ignores the fact that I am working, and that it is the end of the day, and that if I don't leave in 10 minutes I will be charged for afterschool care for my kids, which she knows. She has come in earlier when I was teaching and asked for a copy of my final. She now wants to know what the answers are.

Crap.

So I try to give her some help, but I don't want her just giving the kid the answers. Blah blah blah, she tells me how much she's enjoyed my class this year. When she finally leaves, she has just cost me twenty bucks in afterschool care charges.

So today our young charge took the final in the special ed testing center.

He got the highest grade in the class. Including my gifted students. And that handwriting isn't his. Not to mention that he just turned in twelve-- TWELVE-- late assignments, some of which are 5 weeks old. But his IEP is wide-open, and that means I have to put up with it.

I've adapted this kid's grade all year. I feel like "adapting" this one too-- but in the other direction.

18 Comments:

At 5/25/06, 6:29 PM, Blogger Polski3 said...

LIFE will hit the kid someday....right smack between the eyes. And perhap that will be sad, because of the adults who failed to help him/her get ready to stand on his/her own two feet.

Surely his/her IEP does not allow for an adult aide to do his/her work? That is too obiviously wrong!

All in all, just another brick in the wall.......

 
At 5/25/06, 7:05 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Today was my last final. Tomorrow, we're off at noon. Woo-hoo!

 
At 5/25/06, 9:11 PM, Blogger GuusjeM said...

We've got one those too- the aide does all the work...including the art work ...when the 3rd grade art work was displayed - one picture was not at all like the others!

 
At 5/25/06, 9:12 PM, Blogger GuusjeM said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5/25/06, 9:26 PM, Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Yes, adapt it, and report that aide. All that "I've enjoyed working with you" stuff was to make you feel bad if you contemplated taking action. Report her butt. Whether she's acting out of pity for the kid, or an attempt to make herself look good, she's only hurting the student by preventing an honest assesment of his capability, and by teaching him that it's ok to cheat.

 
At 5/25/06, 10:05 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I don't feel a bit sorrry-- but I wonder how calm I'll remain if I'm told just to suck it up....

 
At 5/26/06, 9:05 AM, Blogger Amerloc said...

I don't want to be too snarky (oh. wait. yes I do), but this aide "enjoyed your class." So she was there for the lectures and activities. And I suspect she had access to the text (assuming there was one).

And she still had to come begging for the answers??? I guess it's easy to enjoy, if you don't have to pay attention...

 
At 5/26/06, 12:56 PM, Anonymous Mrs. Bog said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch!

I do not edit my dyslexic son's written work at home so his teacher will know his true ability.
I'm not going to be there for the written work on the high stakes graduation test nor the SAT. We, the teacher and I, need to know exactly where his abilities are.

 
At 5/26/06, 3:22 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

To be fair, sometimes she was not paying attention becuase she was riding herd on junior, who liked to roam around the room belching or high-fiving his classmates.

But then again.....

And, I decided to adapt the grade. And I got my freakin' final back from the aide, so that I don't have to start back over from scratch next year...

 
At 5/26/06, 4:52 PM, Blogger graycie said...

Is the casemanager professional? if so, talk to him/her. If not, you're sunk unles you can get an admin on your side, but that would be tough.

I have a rep as being tough-minded (aka mean old b****) and would have had no difficulty saying, "If you help him understand what the questions are asking for, like you have been all year, he'll do fine." I can say this with sunny and compelling confidence in the professionalism of the adult. Whether I believe it or not.

 
At 5/26/06, 9:05 PM, Blogger The Science Goddess said...

What would happen if you asked the kid about the work?

 
At 5/27/06, 11:04 PM, Blogger elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I watched an aide last year give hand signals to my group of 5 special education students. A tap on the nose meant A, a tap on the cheek mean B, etc. Many of my regular ed students caught on and began watching her. I finally suggested she take her group to the medial center so they could focus better. The whole situation was very infuriating since the tests grades were great but their state tests were awful. I reported her but nothing was done.:)

 
At 5/28/06, 1:02 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Okay-- the case manager and I talked. I curved the grade down, the aide won't come into my room ever again.

The school year is over, or I'd make the kid take the damn thing over again.

You know, if this kind of shit means this much to you, why don't they just order up whatever the heck grade they want?

When are these kids ever going to be accountable? And furthermore, if he's primarily here for "socialization," then why bother to keep any grades for him at all?

Oooo, that sounds bitter....

And guess what? The word verification is aauee, which is the noise I made when I saw that damn grade.

 
At 5/28/06, 8:32 AM, Blogger Janet said...

I hate HATE when parents cover for their children say they are "helping" then with assignments, when in reality they are really hurting them. It's one thing if the parents help too much, but it's another when they deny it.

 
At 5/28/06, 11:09 PM, Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

eht, if the kids could decipher the aide's signals, just how special were they really? Isn't learning and remembering all that a lot of work? Could that work have been focused on something a little more valuable, like learning the actual lessons?

Which leads me to ask, and I'm wincing as I do so, exactly how much training do these aides have in helping the special-needs kids?

 
At 5/29/06, 7:28 PM, Blogger James said...

I'm confused here, why was it necessary for the aide to grade the test? I appreciate her being there to give the test, but if it's my test I grade it, not the aide who doesn't understand what I teach, and wouldn't nor shouldn't be expected to know how to grade the answers to questions that may at times require the understanding of the instructor to appropriately confer extra credit.

This IEP thing is out to lunch and merits tightening down. If an IEP confers unlimited time to the student that's counterproductive to everyone, and if the student couldn't get the material in on time during the course of the quarter or semester, how in the world were they suddenly able to get it all done prior to the end of the semester? IEP should be for accommodating a child's disabilities, not stretching common sense and reasonableness to the point where they hardly exist in an interaction between student and teacher.

 
At 5/29/06, 11:17 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

James, I graded the test. You know what? I am NEVER again giving one of these people a copy of my final, much less helping out with "questions" that the aide/case manager is confused about.

We are supposed to be as cooperative with the special ed people as we can be, and I usually try to be. But this incident was completely outrageous.

And the problem with IEPs that I have seen is that they often foster a culture of entitlement, not to mention the fact that these kids never seem to be moved towards learning how to accomodate life with their disability as much as possible, instead of the other way around. And that's a BIG problem in terms of these kids' futures, IMHO.

 
At 6/1/06, 6:19 AM, Blogger James said...

That makes more sense - and you're right, the behavior was out to lunch.

As for IEPs and entitlement - amen to that. I understand some accommodations, extra time on a test, extra assistance, etc., but bending the rules to such a degree that the kid, and all too often his or her parents, figure they can dodge behind them whenever they encounter a difficult situation, I mean you want to tear your hair out. It's to the point where you have to write the IEP like you're a lawyer if you're to keep it from getting "too" accommodating such that the kid is living in his or her own little world, a world that will evaporate as soon as they walk outside the walls of the school and then what are they left with?

 

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