Teaching at a “special” school means we have some very “interesting” kids in school and it can take its toll on everyone.
These are a few I experienced last school year …
In the class room next to mine was Miss Fem. She taught five and six year olds. Most of them were nice kids, very young for their age (that’s why they are with us) but ready to learn a few things.
Not so our dear little Jonah. He was almost seven already and he had decided not to learn, not to listen and not to behave. Ever!
Of course it was some sort of disorder, but that didn’t make it any easier to handle. Especially not when he was in one of his aggressive moods. He bit, hit, spit, kicked … and refused to sit or walk when necessary. He was a danger to the other kids.
Every day Miss Fem send me a message, “Help!!” At that point I dropped whatever I was doing (luckily my kids were used to it and just continued to work), run to her class room and picked Jonah up. It sometimes took pure physical force when I had to drag him through the hall to my class room. There I made him sit on a stool and had to keep him down for about fifteen minutes. Literally pushing him down for as long as it took … avoiding his teeth and spit. It was ridiculous!
We had a good talk about it, it took some time but now he is enrolled in a more specialized school for kids like him.
Another child that visited my class room was Shania. She was four, tiny and cute. Until she opened her mouth. That little girl had the most blood curdling scream you can ever imagine. The moment she decided she didn’t want to do what her teacher said she opened her mouth and there she went … for minutes on end. We could hear her in our class room … through two closed doors on the other side of the hall. Amazing!
One day she was brought to me as all other places were occupied. She had one look around, decided she didn’t like it, grabbed the stool she was on and threw it away, nearly missing one of my kids. He ducked just in time.
We were speechless .. such a tiny girl with so much force. I tried to stay as calm as possible. “No Shania, we don’t throw things around here.” And I put her back on her stool. She looked at me, literally grinned, jumped off and kicked it away. “No, Shania … we don’t do that here.”.
Mentally I was giving myself a gold medal for patience …
Obviously my words didn’t help. She gave me one angry look, opened her mouth and screamed!! My kids jumped from shock …
I gently put my hand over her mouth and told her to stop. She bit me. Then she grinned again and started to scream … and scream … and scream …
That was the moment I had enough. I picked her up and brought her, kicking and screaming (Shania, that is, not me, lol) to the principals office.
“Here, you deal with her. I’ve had enough. I need a band-aid for my hand … she bit me.” And I left.
Her own teacher later came to me to apologize. She had been desperate, the principal had a meeting and her first reaction was to bring Shania to me. I told her I felt honored but maybe could she think of another solution next time? We both laughed.
And yes, Shania is on the list for more specialist education too.
This year it looks like it’s more “tranquil” in school. But then again, the school year has just started … we have still a long time to go ;)