Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be careful what you wish for

I've really wanted a work study student in the library. We have a few spots on campus where students can work and after I begged and pleaded, the library was added to the list. I was given a student. She's supposed to work for me three periods a day.

This is where the title comes into play. I should've be careful what I wish for. Or maybe I should be much more specific in what I wish for.

See, I wanted someone who could put books away, straighten shelves, cover books, help with inventory, put the shelves in alphabetical/ Dewey order, make bulletin boards, and do some desk top publishing to promote library activities. This was my dream person.

What I got was a girl who is special education and very low functioning. One reason she's at our facility is that she couldn't function in a regular school setting, and her parents don't want her. While this is a heart breaking story, and it is, this is the person they assigned to WORK IN THE LIBRARY. This is not a good fit.

She worked with me for a week. She is a very sweet child. I don't think she would harm a fly. She is certainly not a troublemaker. But she is very, very slow. And she doesn't really read very well. She can't do complex tasks. I saw this was not going to work well but I tried. At the end of the week when the Work study director and I met with her, we asked what the most difficult task was she was given. She said that straightening shelves. people, straightening the shelves is the easiest thing I have to do in the library!

No one knew how low functioning she was when she came to our school so no one can really be blamed. The problem is we have nowhere else to put her. Most of the work study jobs are independent and I think she would be better as part of a team, where she would have other people to keep her on task, keep her motivated and for her to follow what they do.

I like her and I feel bad that after a week and a half, it isn't working. I just can't afford to stand next to her to show her the steps over and over again. This isn't me being mean and not wanting to work with special ed- ah, contrary since that's what I did for the last year and a half in education. And I like working with special ed. kids. This is just an a bad fit job for this particular child.

We think we might have some other choices rather than a work study for her. But if she's pulled from the library, I won't be assigned another person. All the kids in the program have been placed. Drat!

I had such great plans! Ah, maybe next semester!


1 comment:

Bragger said...

How sad for the girl, but don't feel bad yourself. You tried, and it just isn't an atmosphere where she can use her (limited) skills. At least there was an evaluation process in place.