Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Point of No Return

At about 10:00 this morning, on a day when 3 of my bi-polar students are cycling, when the little boy who has been such a terrible challenge these last months is banging doors and tearing up the timer and throwing legos at the windows, at this very point in time, the crisis counselor leaves for a meeting.

The crisis room is closed. For a full hour in our day, that critical support is unavailable.

Thus began a succession of mini tantrums escalating to large-scale crises, and we are a full staff member short, and even if we were fully staffed at that moment, it wouldn't have been enough, because these kids are in a spiral, feeding off each other, and their insatiable need for stimulation and attention goes unchecked and untethered.

To be fair, the purpose of the meeting was very important and child-oriented. Clearly, the folks involved needed to meet.

My gripe is the decision to make convenient their meeting time at the expense of what the other children and staff need.

Striking the kind of balance needed in the management of a school like ours is very, very difficult.

And today was way more difficult than it had to be. For me, my intern, and our kids.

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