Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Mystery Solved

So, we've had a bit of a mystery in good ol' Room Mine. (I'm paranoid about googlers, so I'm not even putting the number.) Anyhow, of the three fourth graders, I suspected that the two who would have the most trouble would be Boy A (henceforth referred to as The Bulldozer, because of the way he crashes through life) and Boy J (haven't thought of a nickname for him yet).

Boy J has done remarkably well. After the day The Bulldozer hit him and he hit back -- and got in trouble for hitting back -- the worst he's done is whine in that godawful annoying fake baby voice he has.

(Incidentally, Teacher M: While I sympathized last year, I now send you buckets of virtual chocolate. I had no idea -- I had no idea -- exactly how annoying that could be.)

The Bulldozer, on the other hand, has been having a very difficult time. He has not hit any more children (mostly because I gave him two spots away from kids to sit at when he felt he couldn't control himself; to his credit, he's actually chosen those spots at troublesome times without prompting) although my glasses have gotten tossed several times, and he shoved his Mighty Mo (a very expensive communication device) hard enough to snap the stand in the back.

(Also incidentally, DFT asked me the other day what we were calling his Mighty Mo in class. A bit stymied, I said, "...a Mighty Mo?"

"Oh. Last year, we called it his 'talker.'"

I blinked, and cast about for a polite way of saying, "It's his device, which he'll probably use for years...shouldn't he know the name of it?" Finally, I said (in a stunning display of oratory brilliance), "But it's called a Mighty Mo."

"Yes, but 'talker' is shorter. It's easier for the other kids to say."

"Only by one syllable."

I get the dubious look which I generally take to be a pitying, "how little you know" stare. "Well, okay, we'll call it whatever you do.")

Anyhow, The Bulldozer was very upset with himself when he broke his Mighty Mo. It's an easy repair, and the fact that he was upset with himself at least shows that he wishes he had better control of himself.

The Bulldozer has had, since starting our school in kindergarten, four teachers (counting myself but not counting various summer school teachers). While I give props to JB for starting the work that M finished, culminating in him getting his Mighty Mo, it was only last year that he had a teacher that really made him work.

So I was expecting him to...well, to not be a fan of mine, because M went through a lot with him last year. So...I hadn't really mentioned his behavior to his family yet, other than the occasional "he's had a rough day" because...well, because that's just The Bulldozer -- though to an extent I hadn't expected.

But he smacked DFT's aide A the other day -- my guess is she commented on the broken Mighty Mo stand -- and so DFT asked his dad. Turns out that mom -- who hand feeds him -- and dad have been arguing about how to discipline him. My inclination is that dad wanted to and mom did not.

(Keep in mind, this is third hand information, as I'm repeating what DFT says The Bulldozer's dad told him.)

So, dad just decided to give up and let mom (not) handle it. He's seen more aggressive behavior at home too.

We've been making some progress at school, but this leads me to believe that Mondays especially will be very hard for quite some time, until The Bulldozer learns the ugly truth that while there may be no rules at home, there are at school -- and there certainly are in Room Mine.

This is a tough thing for kids to learn, but it's not the first time I've been down this road (cough! R! cough!). In fact, my entire first week in this classroom was spent convincing a sixth grader (with autism) that he did, in fact, have to do some work before he could be on the computer. "Closed!" he'd yell at me (a.ka. "get the *#*$* out of my face!").

But, you know, once the battle was over, he thrived. On his last day in my classroom, he came in and said, "Excuse me, Miss ____. G is doing two paper works, then computer please?"

In other news, I got a boatload of work done today. Hooray!

(We had the day off for Rosh Hashanah. Having gone to private (Christian) schools until I was at CSUN getting my credential, this was a bit of a surprise to me at first. I realize the ultimate motive is money -- the districts don't want to lose all the ADA money they'd lose from all the absent kids, nor do they want to pay subs for the teachers -- but it's still nice.)


Amie said...

you might be my hero.

SpooWriter said...

Um...thank you?