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Folks: I have just had a MAJOR (to me!) problem come up & need fellow
librarians' sympathy, suggestions, etc.

My aide & I will be responsible for babysitting (officially: "storytime")
combined classes of Early Childhood/Pre-K, or Early Childhood/Kinder kids
for 40 min. every day during lunch while their teachers & aides have
lunch & planning periods. There will be 2 groups coming from 11:15-12:30,
during which time the LMC will HAVE to be completely closed to everyone
else. The EC kids include 2 units of Autistic children, one 5-yr-old
functioning at an 8 month level, Down's Syndrome, various seizures, a
parapelegiac on breathing apparatus, "crack" toddlers, & assorted other
disabilities (screamers, head-bangers, biters & hitters, kids that run
away at any time, etc.).

I have absolutely NO TRAINING in these types of behaviors. The head of
Special Ed. demonstated the "basket-hold" type of restraint to us to use
when EC kids "lost it". Some of these classes have THREE AIDES during the
day, while my aide & I are expected to handle these kids by ourselves.
How am I supposed to do a storytime with 22-25 Pre-K's or Kinders PLUS
5-10 EC kids at one time? Videos are not allowed as they are not "book
experiences". Most of these kids can NOT sit still for 15 min., let alone

In previous years I have done storytimes with these kids, but aides have
ALWAYS been present to handle problems, so I could just tell the story.
Sometimes teachers have stayed too, when some kid was having a bad day.
And storytimes were limited to 15 min., with book checkout another 15. I
could handle that pretty well, although I did think my time was somewhat
wasted when kids were rolling around on the floor, wandering the LMC with
an aide behind, or being restrained & forced to listen.

What do I do?? I am also worried about the legality of it all & my lack
of training. Frankly, I am scared to death. Plus I am not able to service
the rest of the school during their lunch--which in previous years is
when most kids come to the LMC for computer time or exchanging books, &
teachers come to check out stuff they've suddenly found out they need. In
my opinion, this is going against everything I have been trained to do as
a librarian (i.e. service the school population).

I guess I just needed to vent, or see if some of the wiser, more
experienced librarians out there could offer me help, suggestions or


*   Debbie Collier          Orange Grove Elementary  *
*   Librarian &             Houston, Texas           *
*   "Resourceress"          COLLIE@TENET.EDU         *

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