Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Week's Crazy Adventures

Well, where to start?  There's a lot that happened this week.  I guess I'll start somewhere around the beginning of the week.  Monday, I had the students come up with table group names so that I don't always get their table numbers confused.  Here's the names they came up with:

Black & White Snow Tigers
Lake Monsters
Fighting Phantoms of Terror
Wolf Pack
Fire Ants

Great, right?  Man, they have quite the imagination!

There's this student in my class that often breaks down crying during lessons a few times a week, constantly thinks the world is out to get him, and told me the other day that the pressure of our activity made him feel like he was going to "implode."  I spoke with my facilitator, Jennifer, about him to get some insights on what I should do.  I've never had to handle a student like that before and his behavior is starting to affect other students in the class (he made another boy cry the other day).  She suggested that I talk with the Guidance Counselor to get some more advice and see what we should do.  At this point, I hadn't spoken with the parents (because I didn't know what to say or do).  As I spoke with the counselor,  she suggested putting him in an anger management/anxiety class.  She showed me the book that she uses so they can identify where they feel stress and how to better deal with it.  I thought it sounded like a good class, and she ended up calling the parents to suggest that their son join.  The next morning his dad came in a few minutes before school started and told me that he was "restraining himself" because he was so angry.  He should have heard from me first and that his son absolutely DID NOT need this class, he's just stubborn & expects the rules to be unchanged (looking back - I agree, they should have heard from me first, however being stubborn doesn't explain why he starts crying in the middle of a lesson).  We set up a time to meet the next day after school.  Later that day, I spoke with my principal and she agreed to be there at the meeting with me.

I pretty much spent the next 24 hours preparing as many notes about when things happened as I possibly could.  I prayed like crazy, cried a little, and pretty much was freaking out.  This dad scared me!  When time came for the meeting, two of my teammates agreed to stay in the room until the principal arrived so that I wouldn't be left alone with the family.  The meeting consisted of me, my principal, the student and both his parents.  It lasted roughly 40 minutes (of which I'm pretty sure the dad spoke for about 25).  Nothing really got resolved because the dad insisted that there is nothing wrong with his son.  The only thing we agreed is that I would be more consistent about writing notes home in his planner and that he would be more open in expressing himself with words so that I can help.  After they left I continued to speak with my principal for a bit and she said that I was right, there is something there that could use some help, and that she noticed those same things in the father.  Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about it because they are refusing services.  We both noticed though that the mother was aware of what is happening, but the dad wouldn't let her speak and won't budge anytime soon.

So the meeting went alright but not as well as I would have liked.  And what an adventure it was.  In other news, one of my girls got in a fight with another girl in 4th grade this week as well.  When we went out in the hall to speak with the other girl and her teacher, Katie (my student) mentioned that she has anger problems.  And she happens to be one of my two student council reps.  My goodness, my kids are just on a roll this week!  I'm about ready for our Fall Break next week!  Wednesday is a half day for us and then we have Thursday and Friday off.  My roomies and I have been keeping a countdown for the last two weeks :)  We're a little excited about it.  And we're even more excited that this weekend we only have to plan for 2.5 days!

Speaking of which...I should go do some planning.  Love you all and thanks for your support, love, prayers!

P.S. This is our class "pet."  We named him Fuzzy and he will be our Star of the Week this next week (since its a short week).

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