Taking pictures of kids for several hours of day is incredibly monotonous. Don’t EVEN ask me how many times I said the following today:
- Sit up straight!
- Feet flat on the floor!
- Hands flat on your lap!
- Shoulder’s down!
- Chin down!
- Chin up!
- Tip your head *this* way!
Oh, by the way, I said at least something from that list 219 times today, however most of the time it was in some kind of combination of at least three if not all…and repeated twice.
At one of the schools they had a class that was made up of two kids that were autistic. There was a teacher and a para who escorted them to the cameras. One young man, about 12 was sat down in front of me. I asked him his name and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to understand him. The teacher piped up, “Ben Riesling” (obviously not his real name, but you’ll see why I used it here in just a bit). His name didn’t come up in the system.
ME: Riesling? As in R-I-E?”
TEACHER: “No. R-E-I”
Hmmmm. That’s not the way riesling is spelled…I type it in again and search. Nothing. So I type in just the R-E. Still nothing. So I try the first name. Several Bens come up, but not Ben Riesling.
ME: “R-E-I isn’t coming up with his name…”
TEACHER: “Oh, I don’t know! It could be R-I-E-S. Ben, how do you spell your name?” Ben’s blank stare is the only answer. The para just shrugs and says, “I don’t know. I’m just the para.”
ME: “I’ll have to add him manually, but I’ll definitely need to have the correct spelling of his name.”
TEACHER: *exasperated sigh* “I think it’s R-I-E-S-E -L-I-N-G”
ME: “Ooooohkayyyyy…Are you sure there that extra E in the middle?”
TEACHER: “I don’t know!”
ME: “Alright. Is it Ben or Benjamin?”
TEACHER: “Just put it in as Benjamin!”
Take a moment here and imagine this scene.
If YOU were the parent of the child and his ID card and his yearbook had his name spelled wrong, wouldn’t you be pissed? Ben is not Benjamin or vice versa. She showed absolutely no interest in the TWO students she had (and don’t try to defend this with “oh, school JUST started. she’s getting to know the kids yet” because school here has been in session for almost a month now). To me it was inexcusable and pathetic.
We’ll be meeting with that school’s psychologist again this fall. I’ll be sure to mention this to him then. Maybe by then I will have cooled down a bit.