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new math

updated sun 9 apr 06


primalmommy on fri 7 apr 06

Thanks, all, for advice. The truth is, my adult classes at the guild are
my bread and butter, and everybody plays nice and cleans up after.

The kids classes have been ably run by another guild member for years,
and she had it down to a science -- but they are waiting for a call from
China that will mean their new baby, and so I have taken over for the
last couple of years.

It really is a good bunch of kids, and there are days when I am pure
"flow motion"-- kids between 8 and 18, public/private/homeschooled,
culturally diverse and a few sibling groups. Some are "repeaters".

It's hard for me to say no to the autistic student, because once I
figured out what was going on, I really began to like him. (His mom was
not exactly "up front" with his condition until after classes were in
session, but I have friends with kids diagnosed in the autism spectrum,
so it didn't take long to recognize some of his behaviors.)

Some days, he has a little more self control, and I can capitalize on
his "hyperfocus". He has made two really spectacular projects -- a log
cabin, and the Titanic. Not much else, though. He is incredibly bright,
and often gets a look in his eye that I remember from the beloved horse
of my teen years -- it's the "Do you really have the authority to make
me do this?" look. And I do. We understand each other.

Six more weeks of class will finish out my contract with the guild, and
then I do my cushy summer private sessions from home, and will let
somebody else teach the kids class next fall. I am happy to do the scout
troops and homeschool kids and workshop stuff, but I don't have the
energy to negotiate with parents from week to week. They are all given a
copy of the rules on day one -- but most kids come straight from school,
and are dropped off and picked up by car pools or baby sitters or
parents who come from work, sit in the car and blow the horn.

And yeah, I will recommend that the guild raise the fees for whomever
teaches next. Considering what we pay for a 30 minute piano lesson, a
session of tae kwon do, gymnastics or yoga, or an art class at the
museum, I can't imagine anyone will flinch at an increase.

I feel bad about writing that diatribe ;0) usually things go a lot more
smoothly. It was just one of those days.. but a turning point
nonetheless. The second haul-off dumpster left today, and I am training
a newly critical eye on everything in my life -- deciding whether it is
essential or whether, if jettisoned, would help me get this balloon off
the ground.

Jeff and the kids are staying. Everything else is negotiable...

Kelly in Ohio

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