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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Troubled children

Last week, there were some very interesting developments with some of my most difficult students.

First, one of the boys who has gotten under my skin since day one, I'll just call him A, withdrew on Friday, so he will not be back next week. I know this is extremely unprofessional and callous of me to say, but -- WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!! YIPPPEEEEEEEEE!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

OK, moving on... One of my other little boys who has been a behavior problem all year long in addition to doing just about nothing in class has made a little bit of progress. There have been several times this year when I have gotten on his case about not putting any effort forth whatsoever, and he has responded with a sad sack story about how he's not smart like everyone else, and his mom has told him he's not like the other kids. In other words, he's used his academic troubles in the past as a crutch in the present. I won't stand for that kind of thing, and without using profanity, I've told him how that's a bunch of BS.

Two weeks ago, I sat in on a failure ARD with this boy, his mother, the school principal, and a few others. He tried to pull this same bit again, and we all pretty much shot it down. But finally, he seems to have taken our attitude to heart. The day after the ARD, he scored an 80 on his test over number lines, which is one of his highest scores all year long. This past week, our topic was estimation and rounding, and he did the work with us -- and did it correctly -- all week long. Every time I saw him doing the work, I tried to make a big deal about praising him and complementing him on how awesome he was at rounding.

On Wednesday, I sent a note home with him to his mother, telling her how he had really been making an effort, and doing very well on the classwork, and how proud I was of him for that. Also how that proved that he was capable of doing the work when he put his mind to it. The next day, he brought me a note that HE had written saying that I was the best teacher, and how he loved math and (this is the funny part) how much better his behavior is now that he is taking his pills. On the test on Friday, he scored a 100. Now if we could just get him to put some effort into reading class.

Lastly, I heard something very interesting about one of my troubled girls, who has been a pain in my denominator all year long. This girl just enjoys pushing people's buttons. She makes bad decisions, cries when she gets in trouble, but smirks about it when she's being reprimanded. She's constantly being put in time out -- not just in my room or Miss Jenn Ed's room -- but also in art, PE, the lunchroom, the gym before school starts, etc.

We got her mother some paperwork for a counseling group, and the mother enrolled her. So for the past couple of weeks, a counselor comes by the school every once in awhile to see her and to talk to us. She came by my room on Friday and asked about the little girl's behavior in class. So I unloaded, telling her everything that she liked to do. The counselor told me that she thought it was very interesting that despite all of the negative things the girl does in my class, when asked who her favorite teacher was, she answered with Mister Teacher.

Some people have a very strange way of showing favoritism, I suppose.

I'm hoping this week is a stellar week. My birthday is on Thursday, one of the terrors is gone from my school, another seems to have turned a new leaf, and yet another thinks of me as her favorite teacher. Hey, if the cafeteria would just serve chopped barbecue beef sandwiches for lunch, I'd be in heaven!


Anonymous said...

haha~nice blog, ok always stay cool...

Marietta Smith Adams said...

That feeling of one of the most unruly students withdrawing so guiltily pleasurable. It's good to hear you are having some highs this year and I hope it continues in this upward manner. :)

Almost American said...

You want chopped barbecue beef sandwiches after the reports in the press this week? Rather you than me!

Glad to hear one of your kids has turned things around. It's so hard to get them moving in the right direction, but so much easier once they have had some success.

Simply Sublime said...

It's funny how we are so unaware of the impact we make on some students.