Tag Archives: ADD

I Still Think It Was Me

Working with a kid who never pays attention to anything I say, ever.

Me: “I noticed you are extremely focused today. I love it!”

Kid: “Yeah well I realized that you are really smart and have a lot to teach me, and I should really listen to you because you’re a great teacher.”

Me: “Really? So all this focus is because of ME? You just woke up and suddenly realized I’m great?!”

Kid: “Yeah. Is that so crazy? I’m going to listen from now on, because you helped me see that’s important.”

Me (tearing up): “Wow, I just never knew I could have that kind of influence on you. It just goes to show that having one positive role model can really change–

Kid: “Oh and I started taking Ritalin. So maybe that’s also it.”

 

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Hazards You Didn’t Know Were Hazards

Did you know that if you accidentally shoot yourself in the eye with a waterpik on full blast, you will pop blood vessels?

What’s that? No? Because why would that ever happen to you? Because you’d never press the “on” button before putting the device in your mouth, particularly if it’s pointed at your eyeball? Because who points a waterpik at their eyeball? Because you pay attention to the things you do as you’re doing them? Because you’re generally able to complete daily life tasks without risking your life? Because even a monkey can use a waterpik without injury, and you’re smarter than a monkey?

Well HOW NICE FOR YOU.

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Hello? 

Today in school we gave a practice state exam. I took the kids with special needs to a separate, less distracting location to take their tests. 

Kid: “Miss Emily, is it true that all the smart kids take their test in the classroom, and all the dumb kids go to a different room with you?”

Me: “What!? NO. Absolutely not. Taking your test in a different room has NOTHING to do with your intelligence. You are all VERY smart. Everyone needs different things in order to do their best work and be able to focus, that’s all.”

Kid: “Are you sure it’s not because we’re dumb?”

Me: “I promise. In fact, used to have testing accommodations when I was a kid. Do you think I’m smart?!”

Kid: (no answer) 

Me: “Hello?”

Kid: “Oh, yes– of course, you’re very smart! Sorry, I just spaced out for a second.”

Aaaaand that’s why you’re in here. 

  

Social Anxiety Thought Spiral

That moment when you get in the elevator and press “Lobby,” but there’s a man coming down the hall pushing a cart and yelling “Hold the elevator please!” so you quickly press the “Door Open” button, and hold it down firmly.

Except that the “Door Open” button you’re pushing is actually the “Door Close” button, and you hit it by accident because you are tired and have A.D.D. and are also a little dumb, but mostly because the “Door Close” button looks EXACTLY FUCKING LIKE the “Door Open” button, and really this is the fault of elevator-makers everywhere.

So the door closes on the man’s cart (because again, you are furiously pushing the “Door Close” button). And he watches you as you continue to push the “Door Close” button, and the door continues to close on his cart.

Then he miraculously makes it inside the elevator, despite your (unintentional, but nonetheless vicious and repeated) attempts to sabotage him.

And it is at THIS point, as you are riding down in silence and staring at that uncooperative button, that you realize your error. And you realize that he knows exactly which button you were pushing. And that he must assume you were purposely trying to close the door on him, because no one is dumb enough to push that hard and that repeatedly on the wrong button.

And he’s staring at you and shaking his head.

And he’s black.

And you want to scream out, “It was an accident! I’m not racist! I swear! I am happy to share this elevator with you, sir! I voted for Obama! I have black friends! I FUCKING LOVE OPRAH!!!”

But you’re pretty sure that’ll make it worse.

So you just hang your head down and accept that you’re a racist now.

Just a big, dumb, ignorant racist who won’t let innocent minorities through the door.

You’re basically the exact opposite of what this country stands for.

You’re disgusting.

You should run for president!!!!!!!!! IMG_1451

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Hindsight is 20/20

Being a Special Education teacher is a great profession for me because, given that I have ADD and anxiety, and given how that affected my own school experience, I can totally relate to how these kids are feeling, and can therefore be super patient and supportive. 

….is what I thought when I got into this profession. 

What actually happened is that I signed up to work in a hot, dirty classroom full of 30 kids who represent everything I hate about myself. 

This is less a recipe for patience than it is a recipe for pulling my hair out strand by srand, finding the nearest table, crawling under it, and rocking back and forth in the fetal postion. 

Good intentions, though.