You all will know by now that I teach at a school for children with learning and behavioral problems. And sometimes the two meet each other in one child ;)
Today I saw a great example of that.
Lisa is a cute looking girl who can behave like a not-so-cute nightmare. She is nice, but she does have her moments.
Last week Lisa was able to aggravate two teachers, her Math and her PE teacher on the same morning. So, during her (and my) lunch break she had to eat her sandwiches, finish her Math assignment and have a talk with me. It was doable as she had forty-five minutes before the next class would start again.
But miss Lisa was in no mood to cooperate. When I told her what to do she looked at me with a very angry face, yelled “No way!!”, picked up her chair and threw it through the class room. She then kicked her table, crumbled her paper with her Math assignment and flattened her sandwich with her fist. She was angry all right!
I could do two things. Get angry myself and just make things worse or stay calm and make sure she had no way to go till she finished what she had to do. I chose the latter. So I just looked at her, told her calmly what she needed to do (again) and sat at my desk, eating my lunch.
I was seething, of course! I can’t stand behavior like that. But showing my anger wouldn’t help so I went into my “uber-professional-mode”. ;)
Lisa sat down, grumbled some choice words under her breath and started to work slowly on her assignment. When she finished she stood up, threw it on my desk and started to the door. Apparently she thought that was that. It wasn’t, of course.
I called her back and pointed to the flattened sandwich. “I can’t eat that!, she yelled. “Of course you can. If you can flatten it you can eat it. Sit down, you are going nowhere until you have finished your lunch.” She sighed deeply, sat down and tried to eat her lunch as quickly as possible. Throwing the crumbs on the floor she stood up to go. Wrong!
I called her back again, made her clean up the floor and her table, and then sat her down for a talk. By now she figured it out apparently. Miss Riete wins.
So finally I found out why she behaved so angry. Her dad had told her that morning she had to wear her raincoat and could not take his umbrella with her to school. Oh yes, earth shattering! Sigh …We talked about it and she promised me to listen better to her PE teacher on Monday and I would help her remember she promised.
So I did this morning. But during lunch mr. PE teacher came to my class and told me she had misbehaved in the hallway and had ignored his warnings. When I confronted her with her behaviour she was genuinely surprised. “I did listen to him during class, just as I promised,” she said, “But the hallway is not the gym, so that was after class.”