Where money gets spent or withheld often baffles me. Schools often have a tight budget, but handicapped children seem to get a lot of funding. Most of the handicapped students have their own caregiver/teacher who follows them around. The main philosophy seems to be mainstreaming now, so there is a lot of labor involved in this process. Additionally a lot of these kids have one period a day where they are taught individually or in very small groups.
One of my schools actually has me teach with a Japanese teacher for one student. Two teachers to one student seems like a very expensive proposition. Beyond my amazement at how much funding goes this way, I have a lot of fun. I have found that most of the emotionally or mentally challenged kids like me a lot and will try very hard. What level a student is at and how fast they are learning are of secondary importance to me. Of prime concern is how willing they are to learn. If someone has a desire to learn, they can fulfill their potential.
So we are breaking for the summer and one kid with hurdles had fallen short of getting his bookshelves constructed. Hence, I was asked to help him complete the project. Japanese tools are fascinating and I had a good time. We had to do a little “board stretching” to get everything together. Now he can take something fun home for the summer.