Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Archive for June, 2012

work and stuff

Okay, So the title doesn’t explain much. I just have to point out a few things that have been bugging lately.

Yes, I work full time. I actually run my own business. Yes, I am in a wheelchair. The two are not mutually exclusive. I wish that others would see it that way. I constantly have parents walk right past me looking for the administrator/Lead teacher. That would be me. I have people look at my chest instead of my eyes, maybe because they are embarrassed or uncomfortable. And I get the stupid comments. They start with

“where is the person in charge?” and run the whole range to “you can’t be in charge. You’re in a wheelchair. “

Ummm yeah. tell me something I haven’t noticed! no one can explain why it isn’t possible. Just that it shouldn’t be. But guess what? I am in charge. The whole program was my idea. And being in a wheelchair has nothing to do with it.

The kids could couldn’t care less. They like getting rides on our way home from the park. They don’t see it as being any different than the other teachers, except that I don’t stand. It the parents that trip all over themselves. And here’s the thing. I do as good a job as any other teacher in my center. So i wish They would quit with the assumptions.


Graduations Part 2

Yesterday was our first ever graduation!  It was wonderful. And definitely an emotional day.

It was held in our class, since the class is in a multipurpose gym. But it was decorated way differently than usual. We went all out for those four children. Caps, gowns, certificates, The whole nine yards. We even got them “kinder-packs”. (more on those later.)

The “ceremony” itself was brief. all the pre-k kids  sang the Winnie the Pooh song for the parents, the four graduates were brought to the back of the room and sort of bounced up to the front in a clump.Since  they’re 5, lines don’t quite happen yet. =) . Each child took their certificate, and joined the parents. a total of 15 minutes, I believe.

But it’s still one of those moments that you remember for being special. I will probably remember the smiles , the looks of pride that they had done something. (although they may not be clear on exactly what yet.) One child had their cap on sideways. One girl tripped on her gown. One skipped down the aisle singing I’m graduating, graduating, graduating. And knowing these particular kids makes it all the more meaningful. I just hope that some day, they will be doing the exact same thing for high school. Or maybe even college.

Now back to the kinder-packs. Each child got a backpack with the uniform for the school they will be going to, a uniform (all slightly large, since the kids will likely grow in two months),some books, two pairs of shoes, jackets, crayons, paper, and whatever was on that school’s kinder list. Also there were some toys. Also there was a card for each, saying how great it was having them in my class, and when they go to kinder, they can still come to my room for after school.

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