Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New Classroom = New Worries

Well, we finally got to "view" the classroom that they are considering moving Casey into. Bill and I arrived at the school about 9:30 to find a class of 10 guys and gals with 2 parapros and one teacher.

All the kids were sitting at different "stations" headed up by either a para or the teacher. They were quietly working and well-behaved. The room was very spacious since there were only 10 desks and a few station tables. Lots of informative stuff was posted on the walls (how much a coin was worth, actions that appropriate, actions that are not, calendar, schedule, etc.). After about 5 minutes of us quietly watching, and me taking notes, they all took a break. They were allowed a snack and some music was turned on, which caused a little impromptu dancing which was supported and encouraged by the staff. Others chose to go down to the "team" room to spend their break.

Then they came back and, and, and, they were just so GOOD. So well behaved. I was curious to know if the teacher might have slipped the children some sort of valium like drug before we came. There was not one meltdown, not one tantrum. Their classroom is connected to the library which was their next thing to do.

They all quietly disappeared with the paras and the teacher sat and talked with us for sometime. She asked what we thought so far, and told us somethings about how they work. It was all very pleasant and promising.

Being the conspiracy theorist I am though, I couldn't help but wonder if it was always this way, had their been some prep work? She did tell them at one point "You guys made me look so good today, you get a marble for the party jar!" whatever the hell that means.

So, you would think that I would be completely gun ho to have Casey go straight into that class if I could. But, me being the glass is half empty type that I am, really started to have my doubts about Case being in there. He has breakdowns, he is very, oh crap, I can't think, oh, impulsive. He does a lot of self talking, he doesn't listen well. I just wondered how well this could work for him.

However, I liked seeing the kids, after they returned from the library, sit next to each other and discuss the books they had gotten, sharing. I liked just in general that they talked and interacted at all. They all have different "disabilities" or issues, but somehow they all seemed to get along. I wanted to picture Casey in that setting, being successful, but I was having trouble doing so. Probably due to some scars from our first experience all those many 4 or 5 years ago when we tried to get him in a similar class and the whole thing was a disaster. But that was years ago.

There's also the issue of a discipline plan they are all on that I can't even begin to imagine Casey being able to follow and keep track of like the others do. Bill was really trying to be positive, saying he thought it was doable for him if modified a bit. I couldn't see it.

But I guess I won't know anything until he does it! We requested that he be transitioned dow to the room slowly if possible, maybe spend an hour a day, just to see how he does. The teacher there and his current teacher felt this might be workable and are going to look into it. I am praying they can make it happen, I don't want to just dump him in there after Xmas break.

So, we'll see. Something is telling me I need to have more confidence in my boy...............

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Holy cow! I'm anxious to hear more. Has Casey ever seen this room himself? Does he know any of those kids. Did you like the teacher? Keep us posted...

rainbowmummy said...

Sounds interesting. I like the idea of Casey just going for an hour a day, that sounds like a good plan to me.

I think a pros and cons list is needed. Also you have to be 100% sure that they are not doing this for easiness, like you mentioned before.

Keep us posted and stay positive!

Remember as well that nothing is set in stone. Sure if it goes wrong it will be crazy hard for all involved but it isn't set. I was told this by a head teacher of a unit I went to see for Egg. She knew I wasn't happy, not with the school but in a "it's not right for Egg" way. She told me, though she probably wasn't allowed to!, basically follow my heart and if my heart is wrong things can get changed.

therextras said...

If you need some encouragement to try this, I offer some. Like rainbowmummy said, if it doesn't work....
Barbara

Marla said...

The class sounds incredible. I am sure the other children have their share of melt downs...don't worry about that. It sounds like it would be worth a try. Good luck with your decision.

kia (good enough mama) said...

I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. Of course you want it to go well, of course you're nervous about it. Don't be hard on yourself because of this. It's only natural. I think a gradual move sounds like the best idea for Casey.

Please keep us posted, of course. :)

claire p said...

The class you have been looking at for Casey soundl like the class Jamie is in over here. There are about ten children of different ages and conditions. They all have a one to one with a main teacher in charge. They do so much with them. Jamie was eased in slowly over several months. But he stared full time this September and is so happy. He loves it. He would never cope with mainstream school at the moment, so 'Poppy Class' is perfect. And it's attached to the mainstream school. Putting him into this class was the best thing we ever did. It might not work for you, but you're right to keep an open mind.
Good luck x.

Krystal said...

I know how you feel. I felt the same way when we were looking into placement for Little Man. We found a program that we thought would best benefit him and it all seemed to go well until there was an incident with one of his paras and it all went down hill from there; 4 suspensions later we are meeting on Monday to see what can be done. And guess what, he is only 5!!!