Monday, January 08, 2007

My morning

8:00 AM - My Student on Meds stands in line, looking despondent. He doesn't smile, doesn't make eye contact, doesn't respond when I greet him at the door.

8:30 AM - While students are working in literacy centers, SoM is sitting in his center. Staring into space. Not working, not socializing.

8:45 AM - SoM leaves the reading corner (where he wasn't reading anyway) and starts walking around the room. I ask him what's wrong, but he ignores me.

9:00 AM - He tells me that he's mad at another boy in our room (his arch-nemesis since Pre-K). I explain to SoM that even though he's upset, he still has to do his work. SoM becomes angry and walks around the room, slowly.

9:10 AM -SoM walks into coat closet. He refuses to come out, so I threaten to change the color on his behavior card. He then leaves the closet and walks into the hallway. He refuses to come back in. I set a timer for ten minutes (as recommended by his behavioral therapist) and tell him that he needs to be back in his seat when the time runs out.

9:15 AM - SoM is still in the hallway, refusing to come back in because the boy he's angry with is in the room. During this time, I stand in the doorway (one foot in the classroom, one foot in the hallway) so I can watch him and do morning calendar at the same time. Since I can't physically go to the calendar, I have some of my students put the date and weather up for me.

9:20 AM - Timer dings. SoM comes back into room and goes to his desk. Instead of sitting, he drags his chair around the room. I ignore him and begin to teach spelling. He drags his chair back to his seat and begins to bang it loudly on the floor, making it impossible for me to teach.

9:30 AM - SoM walks into coat closet again. I ask him to come out and sit down and he yells, "No, leave me alone!" He comes out, but instead of sitting, he resumes chair banging. I change the color on his behavior chart again, and he leaves the room. Again. I manage to get him back in the room and close the door. He opens it and leaves again. I continue to teach the rest of my students from the doorway.

10:00 AM - SoM sits in his seat, doing his work. I begin to feel hopeful.

10:15 AM - During snack time/indoor recess, SoM yells at anyone who walks past his desk. "Get away from me!" or "They better not come near me or I'll smack them!" I inform him that he is not to threaten my other students. He leaves the room again, this time walking down the hallway towards the office. I grab a teacher to watch my kids while I go after him. Principal isn't in her office. She's out of the office all morning doing observations. I guide SoM back down the hallway to the classroom.

10:30 AM - SoM takes his chair and drags it across the floor to the doorway. He sits in the doorway. I resume teaching.

10:35 AM - SoM carries his chair into the hallway. He drags it back and forth past the classroom door, occasionally banging it against the floor.

10:40 AM - SoM comes back into the classroom and gets his book. He puts his book on his desk, but flips the pages instead of working. I set the timer again, giving him ten more minutes to calm down. He stays by his desk listening to me while I teach.

11:00 AM - I turn my back to get a book off of my desk. When I turn around, SoM is gone again. The kids tell me he's in the hallway. I find him halfway down the hallway. I get him back to the classroom doorway just in time for his older brother to take him to the office for his meds.

11:05 AM - SoM comes back from the office and walks into closet. I ignore him and teach religion. He makes loud, rude comments about things I am saying.

11:15 AM - SoM sits in his seat to do work, still visibly angry. He continues to threaten other students for looking at him. He says, "Stop looking at me! I'm gonna smack you!" I tell him that he is not going to touch anyone in my room, and he responds, "Oh yes I is. I'm gonna smack everyone in this room!" I repeat that he will NOT hurt anyone. He responds, "Get out of my face!"

11:30 AM - SoM continues to sit in his seat and work, and continues to glare at other students who dare to breathe in his general direction.

11:45 AM - SoM finishes his work, gets out of his seat and drags his chair to the back of the classroom. He turns the chair upside down and bangs it several times before stepping on it.

11:50 AM - Students line up for lunch. I tell SoM that he needs to sit at the small table by himself (reserved for students in trouble). He refuses. I explain the situation to Principal (who is now finished observations and has heard about my morning). She assures me that she will handle him.

12:00 PM - I sit down to eat lunch in the faculty room. The other teachers give me sympathetic looks, having seen or heard me in the hallway. And that's when I cry.


MsAbcMom said...

BIG HUGS!!!! Hang in there...

Coco said...

he needs to be out of your room,NOW!
and he needs professional help-
small class instruction for children with special needs.
this is not fair to the other kids in your room... do parents know what is going on?
also, at the first hint of "uncontrolled" anger and or "threat", a principal (administrator) needs to come to your classroom and escort the child out before he harms himself or others. it is NOT your responsibilty to escort him to the office!
by the way, "threats" are a serious matter...even if the kid is on meds!

i wish you the best...LUCK!

jennifer said...

found your blog through msabcmom.

it sounds like you are a compassionate teacher doing the best she can in a difficult situation.

hang in there!

Mister Teacher said...

Wow, this kind of puts my band of miscreants in perspective. Apparently, you have an incredible reserve of patients.
Best of luck with this challenging child.

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I'm sorry. THIS is one of the major things that is wrong with education. It is not YOU and it is not ME and our teaching methods. It's the fact that we are not ALLOWED to teach for the many, many situations that go on everyday in so many classrooms across our county.

Is it just me or does it seem that there is a large and growing population of children out there who don't seem quite right? Out of the 60 or so I teach I can finger 10-12 that are in regular ed. but have violent, beligerant type behaviors that disrupt learning all day long.

You hang in there. You are not alone and I have cried more this year than any other.