Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Appraisal Lesson
I thought I'd share with you just a part of my day. As you probably know I teach teenagers with intellectual disabilities, a diverse bunch of characters who are prone to behave badly at times. A couple of times a year we have our senior teacher come in to observe our teaching to make sure we are meeting the standards of a competent teacher. My senior teacher was a little late, thank goodness, because my one incontinent student pooed her nappy, which required an emergency clean-up job. We got everyone gathered, but one of my students decided he'd had a very distressing lunch hour and began bellowing and throwing things around the room. I got on with the lesson, and my senior teacher arrived amidst intermittent bursts of "NOOOOOO!!!" and strange noises being bellowed from a 15 year old with his head buried in the couch cushions. Then one of my girls started saying "I-pod, I-pod, I-pod" over and over and over, and another young man kept getting up because he wanted it to be home time because another teacher said he could have a treat from her at home time if he was good. I carried on bravely. Thankfully, apart from the total meltdown from the couch, we moved on and got on with the work I'd set up. My senior teacher thankfully saw the funny side and said "that's life," then wrote some lovely positive feedback. Meltdown Boy sat quietly for 10 minutes gazing into space after frantically beating up the couch at high volume. Then came over to his desk and said "scissors, cutting" and got on with his work (well, sat at his desk and became fascinated with smearing glue all over his paper while I talked him through the activity). Try dealing with that in the mainstream! So that was the appraisal lesson- a complete shambles. Just another day in my job.