Today was an okay day. Thankfully, I felt in a better mood than I have been most of this week as I felt less tired and more chipper. I’ve been feeling increasingly stressed all week.
Today I had a new experience as I was invited to sit in on an ARD Meeting. I have never had any experience with an ARD Meeting before, so this was enlightening and I learned a lot. While I have studied and learned about these meetings in classes, it is much more beneficial to actually see the meeting in person. This particular meeting was addressing a student with incredible vision disabilities. Legally blind and 19 years old, this student is working towards becoming more independent so that he can get a job and start living a more independent life. I’m not sure what kind of program the student is in, but it seemed incredibly beneficial for his needs. The members in attendance seemed to care for the student personally and were talking about his transition to a new program. They kept talking about his long-term goals of getting a job in the food industry or becoming a farmer, and would talk about how to help him reach those goals. I was surprised at some of the expectations they had set for the student, such as learning how to shower independently, fill out a job application, find transportation to and from work, and other life skills. These are skills that I do not feel are well-taught in the school system, so I was surprised that this student was in some kind of program that focused on teaching like this. His mother was also encouraging and interested in the meeting, wanting the best for her son. At the end of the meeting, all members signed in agreement for the year-long curriculum for the student. This was an incredibly beneficial meeting for me to witness.
Other than the ARD Meeting, the rest of the day was pretty standard as all of the classes have been participating in work days in order to complete their current assignments. I am still finding it difficult to help all of the students efficiently and effectively and managing all of the tasks that must be done such as taking attendance, signing hall passes, handing out supplies, and managing the classroom. I still feel like this job is too big for one person to handle.
This was incredibly apparent during 5th Period when the Special Needs students’ assistants asked for my assistance. The assistants felt that the students were completed with their clay creations and they wanted my approval on the pieces before setting them out to dry. While I was approving, I was showing how the creations needed to be made more sturdy in order to not break during the drying process. They also asked me to help two students who would not create a creature in particular with the clay, but would just play with it. I obliged, but this took up a great deal of my time and the rest of the class needed me as well. At one point, while I was helping the Special Needs students, my cooperating teacher emerged from the back of the room to manage the class and discipline misbehaving students. I felt hurt that I wasn’t doing my job well enough that my teacher had to intervene.
Today was tiring as I felt flustered and overworked. There’s also still a large pile of artworks and papers that need to be graded on my desk that I can’t seem to find time to grade. Even during my Conference period, something comes up, like the ARD Meeting today. Teaching is an incredibly exhausting career and I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this kind of workload.
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