The Steamer: Day 1

September 26, 2022- The child sputtered and fumed at anyone who was found to be even mildly annoying. I was one of those, especially after foiling child’s early morning dash to the playground. Solo actions aren’t generally found to be in a minor child’s best interests, and the more impulsive the act, the more it is seen as a potential source of problems.

I call today’s and tomorrow’s worksite “The Steamer”, because the environment is intense and a few of my co-workers feel it is like being in a pressure cooker. A number of Special Needs children placed together in a fairly small room is never guaranteed to be smooth sailing. They do, however, respond to gently-applied and consistent classroom management. The two paraprofessionals run the show, as is common in Special Needs classrooms. I followed their modi operandi, as I have learned to do, so as to remain afloat, in this extended period of professional afterglow. Besides, they work like tomorrow is not guaranteed, and their dedication to the welfare and safety of the children is magnificent.

The team is working out their game plan, even contemplating, but not yet executing, a division of the three-room workspace into two evenly-split classrooms. The issue there is that there are not, as yet, enough paraprofessionals to man both classrooms, on a regular basis. I am not going to work every single day, anymore, so there will be the necessity of attracting and keeping 2-4 more people, to work alongside the two classroom teachers and the aforementioned parapros. There is a half-time paraprofessional working in the room, as well, but he is not going to single-handedly meet everyone’s needs.

At the end of the day, after the children had been placed on buses, or re-united with their parents, I bid the team goodnight, said “See you tomorrow”, and was asked, by one of the teachers, “Are you sure?” Yes, I’m sure. I feel a bond with the children and am glad to be part of the team, however intermittently.

2 thoughts on “The Steamer: Day 1

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