First week, done.

22 Jun

Yesterday was exhausting. I didn’t get enough sleep, we had a class about abuse, a meeting at lunch, and then another 3 hour class. I took a walk during a break just to get my blood moving, but I felt like a lump most of the day. I feel this is an important thing to remember – if I, as an adult, can’t concentrate after sitting in a chair for two, thee, four hours, then how can I expect a child to?

Spending the morning talking about issues of abuse and neglect was heavy. It’s important, especially since as teachers we will be mandatory reporters – if we suspect abuse, we are required to report it. I found it sort of strange – I have been told in the past that, as a classroom or special education aide, I was a mandatory reporter. However, I have never before received any training on how to recognize signs of abuse.

A disturbing part of yesterday’s class was, while we were talking about signs of neglect, I thought back to a particular student I once worked with. This student exhibited nearly all the signs of neglect – and not a single teacher suggested it as a possibility. This student was identified with many special needs, which I suppose could also be the reasons for his/her behavior, but when a child has an extreme emotional disorder, discusses suicide, and is physically violent, shouldn’t we look for the reason, beyond assuming the child is “depressed” or otherwise mentally ill? It is possible that this was discussed without me, as I was not a teacher but merely an aide, but I am still shocked and disappointed that it wasn’t mentioned or explored.

With the statistics we looked at, I know it is likely that several of my students will experience abuse. It saddens me, and I hope I have the ability to recognize it and do something about it – and to make sure my students always know that my classroom is a safe space.


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