Friday, February 3, 2012

Back at School With the Little Darlins'

Sparky went back to school today...It's tough to keep a good woman down! The kids remembered me, and one little guy would have just preferred that I went back home! He said, "Time you GO!" just as soon as I got there.  He and I went around a little bit last week, that little rascal! He softened up later and wanted plenty of help this morning, so we were ok with each other once more. We read "Dan, the Flying Man", tried to learn the letter "A", and tried to get along with each other....Wheweee!

Little kids with lots of problems are very up and down emotionally and behaviorally-ALWAYS!...this week they were much more difficult to work with. Lots of crying, lots of "he hit me!" and lots of pretend crocodile tears at the littlest perceived insult. I didn't help somebody fast enough, they cried. I insisted someone do their work, they threw their paper on the floor and cried. I firmly took the arm of one little boy and sat him down and he says, "I'm gonna tell my dad!" Wonder where he got that from!?....One little guy had a time out at recess because he was the most ornery. I was glad to see the teacher followed through with discipline, not an easy thing to do with a group of eight little kids, all boys and one girl and one program assistant. Even with three teachers in the room, these kids were still wild and out of control with their emotions and behaviors. Yet, the regular teachers continued to be patient and loving and consistent with the children.

The main teacher spends her own money every week to provide snacks for the kids and to buy materials for her classroom. Last year she spent $5,000 of her own money to provide materials in her classroom, which was a different grade level, too far removed from what she is doing this year to use those materials. This is VERY common of caring, hard working teachers to spend money they should be using for their own family budgets in order to have decent materials for the students in their classes, in order to do a good job. Schools are finding it harder and harder to provide adequate up-to-date materials for their teachers. There's just very little or no money for supplies for classrooms.

Every year I ALWAYS bought lots of books, taped books and special learning aids to help my LD/EH/Mild kids, it was just something that was needed and the kids were highly motivated with newer materials and learning aids, especially if it had to do with technology. I bought my own tape recorders and CD players so the kids could listen to taped stories. I bought lots of hands on learning aids to make reading skills more fun. I was always looking for SOMETHING to catch a reluctant learner's interest. And it helped! But not my budget. It was always out of whack!

This afternoon after a busy morning at school, I was back on guard duty again at the front gates of Florida Grande, from 1:00-4:00 PM....I had the company of nice gal in our park who is trying to learn how to knit. We got a little silly as the afternoon rolled on, and about three hours into a very quiet afternoon with no coaches coming in to register, I saw a cop pull in the drive. Being silly, I said to Judy, "I should give him a hard time just for the fun of it." She says, not knowing me very well, "I dare you!" (Uh-oh! She didn't!) She did! So, the cop rolls up to the gates, and Sparky says, "I'm going to need to see some I.D." And before the cop could register a sort of shocked look on his face, Sparky starts laughing nervously, because she just thinks she and her car license plates are going to be marked for the rest of her life. He smirked, which meant SURELY she didn't just say that, but he went ahead actually explained his errand in the park today just to be polite. (For crying out loud, Sparky, he's patrolling the park!) Uh, yes, uh, well, I was just being a smart a**. You know, as you get older, you don't take any *&$@# from anybody! I think I might have just gotten fired from my volunteer job as a gate guard today....It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!

Nick and Ritchie
After gate guarding, it was time to celebrate Ritchie's birthday today! Ritchie is our charming neighbor. She and her husband, Nick invited us to go celebrate with them today..We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, and it was GREAT! Great food, terrific steaks...we went right at the tail end of Happy Hour and had the great steaks, salads, potatoes, and those awesome yeast rolls with cinnamon butter for 8.49 as long as you get there and get your order in before 6:00 PM. Yum! And we made sure the waitress knew it was Ritchie's birthday. Which means, Texas Roadhouse style, they come out, they whoop and holler and make a big commotion over it being your birthday. They asked Ritchie how old did she want to be today? Being that she's a senior citizen and all, and she said "29". Her husband, Nick volunteered that she also wanted to "ride the saddle". And ride she did!  YEE HAW!
She's riding, but not going anywhere!
A great finish to another great day in sunny Florida! Happy Birthday, Ritchie!

1 comment:

  1. I admire your efforts with the kids; it takes certain personality traits to have the patience to work with these kids I'm sure ... I know I don't have it.