Hi everyone! Here I am blogging again! It has been taking me a while to get back into the groove of blogging. I don't know why I have so much trouble focusing on it lately... I love blogging, but sometimes my brain is just so listless lately!
Anyways, the last time I wrote, I was subbing as a 1:1 assistant for a kindergarten boy with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The good news is, as of last week they hired me as a regular employee, for the rest of the school year! My master plan is that this will help me get into a teaching position for next school year. I'll have great experience and great references within the school district, and that should help me out! Tizzy is an interesting kid to work with. The main challenge is getting him to do any sort of school work. If you try to get him to do anything even vaguely work-like, he screams "NO!" and may go into a full meltdown, complete with climbing up on tables, breaking things, hitting others, and swearing. If you have ever known, or worked with, a child with ODD, you know that the worst thing you can do is get in any sort of power battle with them! So my main strategy, from the beginning, has always been to remain calm at all times, and not engage in any arguments with him. If he screams at me, "SHUT UP!" I do not try to lecture him on saying kinder words, or punish him for saying it. I more or less just ignore the words, and focus more on the reason he is saying it. When I started, nobody really knew quite what to do with Tizzy, and my job was pretty much just to babysit him and try to keep him pacified as much as possible. When it turned out I was going to be staying on the job longer than just a few days, I started trying to get him to do some work. I succeeded for a while, but the more Tizzy gets to know and love you, the more he unleashes his fury on you. More recently I came up with a system in which I put five different learning activities (maybe a worksheet, maybe a puzzle, maybe a game, etc) in five zip lock bags, each labeled with a color. He has a paper with different colored boxes representing the five bags. He gets to pick a color to work on, and when he finishes it, he can put an X in that color box. When he finishes all five tasks, he gets to pick a treat. I've only been doing it for the past few days, but so far it has worked wonderfully... he's still been a little ornery while doing the work, but at this point I couldn't care less if he has a bad attitude, as long as he's actually doing something! When he's not angry, he's actually a delightful little kid.
Anyways, Tizzy keeps me busy, and I spend a lot of my evenings planning more things for him to do. I find a lot of ideas on Pinterest, and I can adapt them into things that will work well for Tizzy.
I've also been trying to get out in the world on the weekends and have some fun. This past Saturday I did the coolest thing in the world. I found a sanctuary farm RIGHT HERE IN MY TOWN! It is a really small farm, and unlike the other sanctuary farms in the area that invite volunteers to come on only certain days, and it sort of feels like all of the volunteers are competing to show each other what great farmers they are, this one is more laid back. I spent a few hours volunteering there, and I was the only volunteer. The husband and wife who run the farm are so nice, and the animals were so happy and well cared for. They've built a little animal village so all of the animals have their own houses, complete with lighting! The geese even have a chandelier and a swimming pool!
I spent part of the time tying flags on an electric fence to keep the animals away from it. My supervisor for this job was a goose named Gomez, who followed me around and honked at me the whole time. He was a really nice goose. I'm pretty sure he is the nicest goose I have ever met.
I also got to brush a llama! The llama's name was Peaches, and she was the sweetest thing! She loves to put her face right in your face and make little humming noises at you. She didn't particularly like getting brushed, though... this was her first time, so she was confused about the purpose. But she was really matted and had leaves stuck all over her. (All of the animals on this farm are rescued, and many of them are from places where they were neglected pretty badly.) I also got to pet a pig and a lamb, and some goats! And two awesome dogs. I was in HEAVEN. Heaven, I tell you! When I die and go to Heaven, it is going to be just like that farm, but all of my past pets will be there with me, and there will be pizza and chocolate cake and Dr. Pepper.
I also took Lily, and my aunt and uncle's dog Roo, to an Easter party for dogs on Sunday. It was rainy and muddy out so not many people came, but they had fun playing with some other dogs. I've been trying to do something special with Lily every weekend, which usually means going to a dog park or doggie playgroup. I'm not sure how much she likes it. She does a lot of observing. But I think she enjoys being out and doing something different, and she definitely likes riding in the car with me. She's my little partner in crime.
So anyways, that is what is new with me. What's new with YOU?