Shaddup Already!



I got to meet with my new students and their parents today. All I can say is there is a huge difference between parents of pre-IB students and those of magnet (regular) students. I'm feeling quite a bit more optimistic about this year.

I was sitting in my classroom when Thing 2 went in to talk to my team's new geography teacher. This isn't good. This woman, we have decided, is just plain mean spirited. So even though I tend to allow people to make their own opinions about people, I felt the need to warn my new team mate. The other team member who was on my team last year agreed I did the right thing. The new teacher is very trusting and she seemed to appreciate my heads up.

I'm am very, very tired. Very tired. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, but somehow, I allowed myself to be talked into an overnight babysitting job for my sister. It's not really a job as I'm not getting paid, but I don't know what else to call it. I'll enjoy spending some time with the kids, I just wish the timing weren't so bad.

Then I was approached today by a colleague of mine. She is a dean, which means she is in a position to discipline students and is in on administrative meetings, but she is still considered a teacher. That means she has no authority over other teachers, the way the APs and the principal do. Anyway, she is the head of the character ed committee that I'm on, so she spent most of last summer talking to me about training a service dog. She loves dogs, so we had some good conversations. Now I am her source for information on service dogs. That's great, I really enjoy sharing what I know (which may be why I'm a teacher).

However, she asked for a favor today. We have a student with pretty severe cerebral palsy. He has been training his pet dog as a service dog for the past 8 months or so. Now he is preparing to start school with his partner in tow.

Our school is going to have nearly 2200 students this year. Many of them come from areas where the only dogs they see are the status symbol pit bulls that are trained to be aggressive. So they fear dogs. I can understand that and I loathe the societal elements that turn a lovely breed of dog into mindless destructors. All that aside, this is going to cause a problem for D and his dog. Not to mention that the kids who aren't afraid of dogs will want to pet the dog. Many, many people have no idea of how to act around a service dog. So we can't expect them to have taught their children how to behave around them.

So the dean came to me today to ask if I could ask the founder of the service dog group for a video to introduce our students to the idea of service dogs and how to behave around them. She was upset because she has been on the administration to confront this issue all summer, but they just now took action. I think they were hoping the whole dog thing would fall through. Obviously it didn't.

Anyway, I talked to Janet (the founder) this evening and she gave me a couple of tips to help D out, that I will pass on. She also said she has a video that we might be able to take clips from to use. Then she mentioned that I could just make my own video.

Ahhh, Janet, funny you should mention that--that is exactly what I came up with driving home. I thought if I did a video, including Cami, and discussed what service dogs do and how to react around them, then it would make it more personal for the kids. Hey, she's a teacher here, she must know what she's talking about.

So that is what I'm going to talk to the dean about tomorrow. Time is short, though, because school starts on Monday.

Help end world hunger