Thursday, February 01, 2007

enough, already

Over the past two days, SoM's tantrums have escalated into violent, physical outbursts that have frightened my other students and driven me to tears. There's no need to give you a minute-by-minute account of the episodes, but here are some highlights:

~ leaving my classroom
~ walking down the hallway punching walls and slamming doors
~ pushing his desk into the coat closet
~ knocking his desk over
~ standing on his desk

~ jumping off the top of his desk
~ dragging his chair into the hallway
~ saying, "No no no no no no no" or "blah blah blah blah blah" or "shut up shut up shut UP SHUT UP" while I was teaching

~ kicking his pencil case around the room
~ saying, "Go away," or "get outta my face," or "leave me ALONE!" or "talk to the hand" or "you're not in charge of me" when I tried to talk to him, yell at him or otherwise correct his inappropriate behavior
~ threatening to smack other students
~ throwing a hardback picture book across my classroom like it was a frisbee
~ kicking a (mostly empty) trashcan across the room
~ banging his chair against the floor loudly
~ taking the sentence strips and die cuts out of my pocket charts and throwing them on the floor or in the trashcan
~ crawling under tables

~ throwing a chair (more like holding it over his head and then dropping it to the floor)
~ taking everything off of my chalkboard ledge (chalk, dry erase markers, erasers, pointer, books, index cards) and throwing them on the floor

... and my personal favorite ...

~ taking every single basket of books off of the bookshelves in the reading corner

I had to take a picture of that, because I've never seen anything like it. I'm not sure why he did it, but it was downright scary to watch.

Because of my earlier conversation with Principal, I didn't call his mother about any of this. When I brought him to the office today (after he threw the chair and jumped off the desk), she put him in the back room and then asked me what he did. After I told her, she said that I need to be more stern with him. She doesn't think he's afraid of me.

"Of course he's not afraid of me," I replied. "There are no consequences I can use with him! I can't call his mother, I can't use the color-coded behavior chart that I use with the rest of my class... so I'm no threat to him at all!" I don't think she gets that. She gets mean with him and he doesn't give her any trouble. I could do that too, if I had him one-on-one. Next time he's having an episode, I want her to step in and take over my class instead of just taking him out of it. I want her to know what it's like to deal with him and try to teach at the same time.

Like I said before, I have tried everything. And these past few days, I've done all I could do to try to control him. When the behavior wasn't interfering with anyone, I ignored it. When it was disrupting a lesson or threatening to injure a student, I got in his face and said things like, "Stop it NOW. You will NOT do (fill-in-the-blank) in this classroom." Which of course was met with, "Get outta my face!" or "Leave me alone!" I'm trying to pick my battles with him, and I don't have the energy to keep up with it anymore.

After school today, I met with the Parent-Teacher Liaison to discuss the situation. I told her that I'm at my breaking point. I just can't handle another day of this. She told me that Principal wanted her to call SoM's mom and have her come in for a meeting either today or tomorrow morning, before SoM is allowed to set foot in my classroom again. Mom agreed to come today, and I stayed for the meeting. I was surprised by how firm Principal was with him and his mother, telling them that his behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in this school. She also got on mom's case about not keeping appointments with his therapist.

I don't know how much is going to change. He wasn't suspended or anything. He'll be back again tomorrow. I just hope it's a better day.


elementaryhistoryteacher said...

This kid soooooo doesn't need to be in your room.

I sent you an email to the yahoo address......I hope it helps.

GuusjeM said...

I agree, that kid needs to be elsewhere's so wrong that the penduluem has swung so far that the "rights" of these kind of kids take precedence over the right to learn of the other 20 odd kids in the class.