Monday, January 25, 2010

lights on, lights off. aka- we are super-stars

Today was lovely. lovely, lovely, lovely. (Can you hear my teeth grinding as I write?)

When we arrived at school the lights were off- along with all the power in the neighborhood. We stood in the hallways, clutching our coffee to stay warm since there was no heat, wondering what we were suppose to do since we couldn't check our email/blogs/reader feed, etc. (it's amazing what you can get done when you don't have the option of Internet- but also amazing what you can't get done. I didn't realize how much of my to-do list depends on having Internet access).

Flashlights were placed outside bathroom doors and we quietly tried to figure out ways to keep our children calm, engaged, and learning until 10, when the power company promised our electricity would be restored. School starts at 8:30. That's one and a half hours of darkness with lots and lots of children. Lots of children who don't want to use the bathroom in the dark.

My fabulous partner-in-crime set up a "fire" in the middle of her carpet ("logs" made out of brown construction paper- props for my 3rd graders' readers' theater) with a flashlight in the middle. They sat and sang campfire songs, pretended they were people of long-ago, and had a grand time having a secret morning meeting in the dark. I loved when my fabulous co-teacher said, "Oh friend, I so want you to sit with us during our super-special morning meeting around the campfire, but if you are making those noises you'll have to sit in a chair" The child immediately stopped making noise- nothing is quite so great as the power of telling a 5 year old something is 'super-special'.

The camp-fire morning meeting was followed by buddy reading with 1st graders in the hallway- I loved seeing my big first graders be such great buddies to the kindergartners- holding up the books, explaining the stories, and taking turns reading.

Are my co-teachers not super-stars? Did they not turn the crazy morning into a great adventure our kids will remember?

Sadly during this time I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to plan for my IEP. My IEP that was originally scheduled back during the blizzard. Back when I was SO on top of it I planned to have the meeting months in advance. But an act of God kept me from the meeting. So we had to reschedule it for today.

And low and behold, our electricity went out on the day of the meeting- electricity that is required to run the school's Internet, which is required for our IEP on-line system. But the meeting was set for 10am, and they promised the electricity was going to be back on by then. So I took my chance, said my prayers to the IEP gods, and tried to prepare everything the best I could so that the minute the electricity came back on we could dive into our meeting.

Except that the room we were able to hold the meeting in did not have any windows- pitch black minus the glow of my computer running of its battery and the great tap-lights the speech pathologist provided. Imagine us, in the dark, banging around, squinting as we hold papers up to our faces to make sure we have the right papers for the right child. Just the right amount of light to make sacrifices to the IEP gods.

We can do hard things. We can we can we can.

And suddenly, at 9:54, the lights came back on. I did my thank you dance to the IEP gods and set to work setting up the computer program. We were on. I was on fire.


Mom wasn't there.

We sat, in the lit room, searching for phone numbers of the family to get someone who speaks Spanish to call Mom and see if she's coming.
They reached mom. She said she was on her way.

Another thank you dance to the IEP gods.

And the lights go out again.

I'm starting to think the IEP gods hate me.

Our fantastic assistant principal managed to get ahold of mom before she came over to the dark school and rescheduled the meeting.

So now, the IEP that I had originally planned to hold over a month in advance of the due date, will now be held exactly 1 working day before the actual due date.

All my hard work planning, scheduling, organizing translators, finding rooms, and getting paperwork ready- only to be rushing up against the deadline.

IEP gods, what do you want from me??

I will make sacrifices to the IEP gods so that we'll have good weather, no power-problems, no sickness, no translator issues, and no computer glitches so that the IEP will go off as scheduled Friday.

The lights eventually came back on and we finished the day in relative peace, until I had to leave to have a root canal.

I earned a gigantic bowl of ice cream today.

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