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Teacher Diaries – My Special Summer – Quotes so Far

This summer I am teaching Special Ed in a class with nine nine-year-old boys. Needless to say, I’m exhausted and have had frozen yogurt three nights in a row. As dinner. It’s also possible that I’m drinking a lot of my feelings, alternating between Starbucks and Bevmo runs. And this is the first week!

It has challenges, but I am also falling in love with my kids. The range of ability is pretty wide…I have three that can’t verbally communicate, you’ve got your kids that rock, that hit, that make high-pitched noises, that get fixated on one word and repeat it over and over. (i.e. “caballo,” Spanish for “horse,” from 10:30-12noon and then laughing himself silly. not joking). But they run to hug me when I walk in the room, and hold my hand on the way to lunch, and make me promise I will come back tomorrow. :)

AND – despite not being able to communicate well, my kids still say some really funny things.

Here are some highlights:

When I introduced myself on the first day, one said “Miss Weight? But that’s a word. That’s not a name.” And then gave me this “what kind of idiot teacher are you?” look. Because of how most of them speak, it comes out like “Miss WaaaAAAaaaaiiiii…..” so freggin cute.

Today I wore a long skirt with peacock feathers on it. All four of the boys in my group commented on my skirt and the colors and said “you look pretty Miss WaaaaAAAAiiiii….” And then one asked me to the movies. “Avengers.”

When  movie date came out of the bathroom later and I handed him his lunch, he said “I can taste the power and the responsibility,” and then took a huge bite. I stopped in my tracks and said, “is that from Spiderman?” and he said “oops!” and ran into the cafeteria.

kid asleep with bookDuring math time, Mr. Movie Date said “Miss Waaaaiii…I’m tired. My hands hurt. Can I take a break?” Not knowing how the normal class works, and thinking, eh, we just had brunch, I’m tired, too! I said “sure!” and got him a Dr. Seuss book to read. I turned to help B with his worksheet, and the aide walks over and says “Why is A asleep in a book?” Sure enough, I turn around and he is face planted into Hop on Pop. I explained that he asked for a break. She goes, “they’re 9 years old. This is school. They don’t get to sleep.” My turn to say “oops!”


We were coming up with words that start with the letter “a.” Someone came up with “anteater” and I jumped on it!

Me: What do anteaters eat? It’s another “a” word!

Miss WAaaaAAAAiiiii as an Anteater

Class: (crickets….pins dropping….blank stares…drool)

Me: Guys – what do anteaters eat? What does it sound like?

Class: (nothing nada zip)

Me: No one has any idea what ANTeaters eat?!

A: wood?

B: bugs?

C: Burritos?

A: My mom makes burritos.

Me: No, not burritos.

C: Tacos then?

It was so fantastic. I’m hungry just writing about it.

So I’m tired beyond all reason, and really just want a hug that doesn’t come with drool or boogers or a concern about the last time those hands were in the pants of the one hugging me….and my heart is heavy for these kids. But I also fight happy tears back when they want to show me a picture of a ninja they colored, or ask me to go down the slide with them.

Learning and loving a lot.

7 comments on “Teacher Diaries – My Special Summer – Quotes so Far

  1. Lisa O'Brien
    June 21, 2012

    Love. Just love!


    • racheldangerw
      June 24, 2012

      I love when you love my stuff! :)


      • Lisa O'Brien
        June 29, 2012

        I’ve missed your writing, Rach!

        Hope you get your feet up this weekend, deserving one.


  2. alli lee
    June 21, 2012

    i want to hear more! this reminds me of my student teaching days. i had a special needs class of k-2 graders, not resource kids, but the kids that didnt fit anywhere. tough, challenging, rewarding…and i wasnt drinking then or eating my feelings. that would have been more productive than tears. thank you for posting, you’re an amazing writer, always keeping it fresh!


    • racheldangerw
      June 24, 2012

      Thanks Allie :) Loving it so far. Very challenging, very rewarding. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. And tired. :)


  3. Victoria Felix
    June 21, 2012

    One year at the high school where I work, I decided to look at a job at the District office. It was a promotion and I was excited about it. When I gave my notice at the high school, it was with reservations. I had begun developing a great bond with an autistic student who worked as my front office Teacher Aide. When he heard I was leaving he wrote me a letter. When I got the letter I had no idea what the words would do to me or for me. I had not worked with autism before and I really didn’t think he knew I was alive! The letter said something like this. “Dear Mrs. Felix, I will miss you very much. I will be sad that I won’t see you everyday in the office and that you won’t be here to give me a job in the office.” It went on and on about how much I had impacted him in a silent yet powerful way. I started crying (what a shock) hysterically at my desk in the front office. I realized that though I didn’t think I was making an impact “as just a secretary in the front office” that I really was reaching him somehow, and in some way. I immediately ran to the principal’s office and begged to stay. The principal answered, “Are you kidding? I don’t want to lose you!” Needless to say, I have been there for 5 years now! The autistic student graduated/certificate of completion and yes I was there to read his name when he received his certificate! He looked so cute in his cap and gown! It was awesome! He still comes by the office to say hi to me and to bring me a hand made valentine which says, I miss you very much smothered with hearts!


    • racheldangerw
      June 24, 2012

      Oh my gosh V! That is the most beautiful story. :) I had no idea that’s why you were still at that job! You have made a huge impact in those kids lives.


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This entry was posted on June 21, 2012 by in boys, children, education, life, love, teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


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Teachers on Friday. #AUSTRALIA! PreK 3 ready for cupcakes!!! #education #cupcakes #itsawin #risroyals What i wouldn't give to be snuggling up with you @kismetoreo 
So faaaaaaar away. Doesn't humans stay in one plaaaaace anymore. It would be fine to see your face at my door. Oh geez I'm going crazy I'm typing out a song to my dog. She can't read. I don't even think she has a phone. Olympics withdrawal. It's a thing. Just picking out my jams for next weeks high school karaoke fest no big deal but I am going to freaking slay. We have a pic on Instagram. We are now really roommates. @rmleir #rachsquared #dasmyroommate

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