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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Least Favored School…


I got a late call, half day assignment for 6th grade this afternoon. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to take it because it was for one of my least favorite schools. I’m not sure what it is about this school but I haven’t had much luck with classroom control here. But Monday was a holiday and I hadn’t had any luck in picking up a class yesterday so I took a chance today to see if my bias was still valid.

The principal was running the class when I arrived. Twenty girls and ten boys. I was to be with them for only about two total classroom hours today.

Right from the start, one boy, S---- was in my face, bouncing off the walls, interrupting and interacting with other kids in class.

He was literally absorbing, extruding, evacuating and sucking all my attention and patience to just try and keep him from disrupting the whole class.

Early on I learned not to let students leave their seat to ask me questions. Unless they are seated and raise their hand first, I don’t acknowledge them. If they approach, I cut them off with: “Is this the proper way to ask me any questions? Back to your seat, raise hand and I’ll come to you when I can.”

It sometimes takes two or three repetitions to get everyone onboard but it’s necessary. If I don’t, I discover myself surrounded by kids firing endless questions while the rest of the class is walking around the classroom all day.

S---- literally could not perform this simple instruction.

Whenever he would shout out some inane, off topic question he was always walking half way to the front of the room. Each time I would make him walk back to his seat and only address his question when his hand was raised.

An hour later I was happy to escape to the teachers lounge while they went to lunch.

One of the other teachers asked how my day was going. I told her it might be a lot better if I could just get rid of one kid. She knew right away who I was referring to.

She clued me into this kid’s problems. He has ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome. He has a one-on-one aide to be with him in class. He has a whole slew of stuff he’s allowed to do in class that the other kids aren’t. He’s allowed to chew gum to help him concentrate and use a special mechanical pencil so he doesn’t eat the wooden ones. It seems that S---- has a long five year history with school staff and everyone except unsuspecting substitute teachers know about his condition.

When I commented that I hadn’t seen the aide in class today, she told me he’s only with the aide for two hours…in the morning.

None of this information was in the special instructions on the sub assignment line or in the lesson plan. Coming in, I’m thinking this kid just has a mongo case of WAS.

After lunch, I tried a bribe. I had a recent issue of Car and Driver magazine in my backpack and offered it to S---- to keep if he could sit quietly for just five minutes so I could go over the instructions for the science test. He indicated that he could, but within two minutes he’s literally banging his head on the table and barking like a dog. I called the office for someone to get him before he hurt himself.

He resisted leaving but finally left while loudly protesting to the office staff lady that it was everyone else in class that got him into trouble. “It wasn’t my fault!!”

Twenty minutes into the science test, the principal calls to ask for two of the boys to come to the office relating to the S---- situation. It seems that S---- is making claims that these two were responsible for getting him into trouble.

When I asked if they could come down after the test, he said “No, they need to come down now.”

No questions for me about how this kid was acting in class? This school will remain on my “least favored” list for another year.


NYC Educator said...

Wow. Imagine being his regular teacher and dealing with that every day. It certainly seems like he needs a more restrictive environment.

KauaiMark said...

"...Imagine being his regular teacher"

I can't

Law and Order Teacher said...

How sad that we as teachers, are forced to figure out ways to bribe our students. How about doing something because it is the right thing to do. It won't happen until their parents buy into it.

Unknown said...

Law and Order teacher has it right - if the parents let them get away with bloody hell (either from apathy, cluelessness, or whatever - the reason doesn't much matter, does it?, then the teacher (and the admins.) are simply outnumbered, and in most cases it's a hopeless situation, sadly.

And no aides showed up, and the teacher didn't tell the sub about them. Unbelievable...

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

This incident isn't just a parents-let-him-get-away-with-bloody-hell issue. This child has serious psychologicial problems. NYC Educator is right: The boy needs to be in a more restrictive environment--for his own safety and the safety of other students. If a more restrictive environment can't be provided, the aide needs to be with the student every period of the day, not just in the morning.