I worked with one girl in school who was so substantially different in her ability to learn that I was convinced she had some serious learning disability or undiagnosed mental illness. I tore my hair out and did headstands trying to figure out how to reach her in the pull-out English as a Second Language class . Her performance in class had no resemblance to that of her peers.
She didn't remember things from one day to the next. She was scattered and seemed not to be able to attach things she had learned in the past to things she was currently being exposed to.
After trying every trick in my bag, I sought help from the special education department. I asked if they could do an observation to see if she should be assessed for something... I didn't know what. They observed her in class and agreed that something was going on but it would require further investigation.
Maybe a week later she came to class and it was like I was meeting a completely different person. She was focused. She made intuitive leaps during our reading of a new story. She participated appropriately in class.
What happened? Some heavy duty cognitive and behavioral therapy? A wonder-drug? Had my teaching methods improved so dramatically that she could suddenly function masterfully in my class?
As part of the evaluation for services, there was a home visit where the school discovered that this girl was only getting a few hours of sleep each night. Her father worked the graveyard shift and she refused to go to sleep until he came home. She completely ignored her mother's attempts to get her in bed.
Her dad made a deal with her that he would go in, wake her up and give her a goodnight kiss when he came home if she would go to bed when her mom told her it was time to sleep.
Because of this, i have been adamant that my children get enough sleep-- especially when they were younger.
So, my toddler does get between 12 and fifteen ours of sleep-- falling asleep super-early if she doesn't get a nap.
The older kids are getting between nine and ten hours. I think that should probably be more like ten or eleven hours.
I am getting on average six hours of sleep and I am pretty sure I have a hefty "sleep debt" that I need to actively work to eliminate. I doubt that my spouse is getting any more than that.
I thought exercise and nutrition were going to be the next thing I tackled, now that I have the medication balanced okay. But I think I will get the biggest bang for my buck in the sleep department. And it is an area where I am so rigidly protective of the sleep habits of my family members and I completely ignore my own.
Mantra from the obvious devision of obviousness: The needs of children are best met when the needs of their parents are met.
So the next thing I am going to actively track (daily) is sleep.
Grateful Crap: Apple orchards. I am cooking local apples in the slow cooker with cinnamon and the smell fills the whole house.
took meds in the morning (450mg bupropion; need to pick up sertraline at pharmacy today)
slept from 10:30-7:00 clocking it in at 8.5 hours. I feel ridiculously alert.
I will walk around block (this should be my bare minimum per day to start; gets me outside and gets me moving even if it is a baby step.)
Quaker, teacher, parent,