I've mentioned before that I split my class up at recess this year, mostly to keep R and Boy A apart from each other, but also to let the kids play with the friends they made last year.
After the drama of last Friday (what is it with Fridays?) I thought things were more under control. Aide K. was going with the 3 fourth graders to the fourth grade playground and Aides D. and J. were going with the 5th and 6th graders.
So, today, I go out to eat with the rest of the upper grade teachers -- except JT, who seems to hate KC for no reason I can understand -- and go pick the kids up when we get back.
I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking they're all on their own again.
All four 5th and 6th graders are there. Boy A comes trundling across the yard, trailed by Aide K.
This is cause for some concern.
This is cause for wha-aaaat?!?! when Aide K says off-handedly, "By the way, I don't know where. . . [Boy J.] is."
My heart stopped.
Our campus is not fully enclosed, and we are a block away from a 4 lane freeway.
What makes me see red is the "oh, by the way...."
By the way?
By the way?
BY THE FRELLING WAY?!?!?!
I have no idea what my face showed at that moment, but I did my darndest to turn to Aide D and say calmly, "Can you please go look with Aide K?"
Princess, meanwhile, looks at me and says, "[Girl J]?
Girl J, however, has made several trips to the restroom so far today.
So, before they go, I say, "So where's Girl J?" assuming she is in the restroom.
Aide K looks confused. "Oh...I don't know," she says.
There are no words.
There are no words to explain to me how you go to the playground with three children, come back with one, off-handedly acknowledge one is missing, all without noticing the OTHER one is missing too??!?!!
There are no words to describe someone who can't do that math. You had three kids. Now you have one. How many are missing?
Hence me applying the lable "boggling" to this post.
So I lead the others back to class and come upon Boy J, but Girl J is still missing.
Meanwhile, it's time for R and Princess to go to science class. Having no other option -- Aide K and squirrely giggly R who has already endured half an hour of DARE and a half-hour long assembly with perfect behavior? -- I send Aide D.
However, I knowingly break the whole "don't badmouth one aide to another" thing because I can't help it. I pull Aide D aside (Aide K is still looking for J) and tell her that I need her to take Princess and R to science class.
Then I tell her, "I'm really frustrated right now. I may have to send Aide K to 'help' you -- but I want you to know it's not because I think you need help. I know you'll do fine."
So Aide D takes the kids to science, and I call Girl J's former teacher M asking if J is in there. I'm fairly certain my voice revealed my extreme...shall we way, sense of GRRRRRRR!
She offers to send some people to look. Aide B (formerly of Cat's room) finds Aide K chatting with Girl J in the restroom.
Even more disturbing, Aide K comes back all smiles and cheerfulness. No "I'm sorry I lost two children," or even a "wow, that was scary."
This disturbs me more that I can say, and it's this response that prompted me to email the principal about it. It's one thing to lose a kid -- most of us who work with kids with moderate to severe disabilities have misplaced kids (briefly, one hopes)...it's terrifying but it does happen.
It's another not to think it's a big deal.
However, Aide J takes the prize for best reaction. As I am trying to pace off my agitation and getting ready for our Second Step lesson (a great opportunity to model self-calming techniques, eh?), she goes to the fridge and takes out two of R's frozen gummies, I presume so I won't grind my teeth to dust.
The funny thing is...it worked.
The second prize reaction award goes to our science teacher B.
I ran into B after school and she asked how I was. It was clearly a small-talk "how are you," so I did the sensible thing and asked if she wanted the politically correct answer or the real one.
She wanted the real one.
So I tell her the story, and she is appropriately stunned. I begin to laminate our Anti-Cheating Devices, and remind her that Princess, who is in her science class, is a sixth grader, even though she's so tiny.
"Funny," I say, "I just realized that Boy J and Girl J are both smaller than she is."
B laughs. "Well, that's it!" she says. "They were too small for Aide K to see!"
I did not talk to Aide K about this disaster today. If I had, she'd have had to call the union on me...there was just no way I could do it calmly and objectively. That'll have to wait until Monday.
Maybe I'll get lucky and the principal will want to do it for me. :-)