Monday, February 26, 2007

what do you do when you can't fix it?

I felt like a pretty awful person when I signed check-out papers for Jimmy and Brian and a rush of relief came over me. I couldn't deny it with those two. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of inability to cope with both of these students and there was nothing more I could feel when they finally got themselves sent to CEP and out of my classroom for good.

Today I signed papers for another student to go to CEP and then I shut my door just before the tears came. This feeling is so much worse than the guilt that relief brings. I failed those two boys. I tried and I got frustrated and in a lot of ways I gave up on them. With Laura I'm not sure what else I could have done. I have given her chances, I've been hard on her, I've been easy on her, of late I've taken to requiring her to shadow me after school and getting her on the soccer team, nothing worked. Laura is beautiful and intelligent and horribly insecure. She's the kind of girl who doesn't understand for a second how amazing she is and spends so much time worrying about others thinking about her that she wastes everything she has going for her.

Christina and I had reached a point with her where we were basically playing runners between her and the administration trying to keep her from losing her last chance and getting herself sent to CEP. I thought I was making progress with her, then she went to math class and called her Math teacher a stupid liar. That was the straw that apparently broke the camels back. She is going to be spending the next 30 days at CEP instead of in my classroom, on my soccer team and generally getting as many self-esteem boosts as I can offer. And there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I just don't understand. Why do we hit this mass saturation with these kids and just get rid of them? Is there nothing more we can do with them? I know there has to be a switch with all of these kids. I think I couldn't find the switch with Brian and Jimmy. That's the part of me that feels so horrible about them leaving. I found the switch with Laura. I know what it is because in so many ways it's the same switch in me. And still, it does no good, she's gone.

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