Friday, April 18, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Primary teacher M has a staff member in her class, Aide A, that has the unfortunate tendency to cause people to get in trouble.  M has a system similar to mine (which, for the record, I stole from 4th Grade Teacher KC) where the kids are on color-coded sections of a chart and earn things for staying at the top.  Many kids, when they work with Aide A, end up having to change their card.

In my class, Sleeping Beauty and Angel are the only kids who have never had to change their card.  Or, rather, until today.

When she first started at our school last year, I commented that Sleeping Beauty could dig her heels in deeper than her little body would reach (she is of quite short stature; if it weren't that her facial features have matured to make her look like a very small sixth-grader, she'd look like a 2nd grader).

She's a bright, very happy, generally willing student, though she requires a lot of prompting to work -- especially in the mornings (she is not a morning person, hence the nickname).

So, we're doing News-2-You today.  I have a very small group due to Superhero having a mostly good day but being five seconds away from losing it, Mr. Voice having a difficult day, and PH  being about three seconds away from losing it.

Aide T put a few kids on the computer, and rotated with the rest.  M, Angel, and Sleeping Beauty were with Aide J.


"Find 'baseball.'"

I heard that phrase probably a hundred and fifty times.  No encouragement, no 'let me show you the first one' no checking for understanding (which, to be fair, should not have been necessary), no nothing.

Brick wall, meet immovable force.

(Sleeping Beauty is, in fact, partly responsible for this because she was, of course, the immovable force.)

Eventually, Aide J took Sleeping Beauty's green card.

Except that Sleeping Beauty used to be known for planting herself in one spot and not budging.

Aide Mrs. B and Aide S had both come at that point.  Aide S stayed out of it (I think because she knew if she said anything, Sleeping Beauty would go right to it).  Aide Mrs. B tried to get Sleeping Beauty to walk over to her green cards, but when Sleeping Beauty plants her feet, she is going nowhere until she wants to.

Given that it's almost lunch time, I ask somebody to keep an eye on Superhero, who has simmered down quite nicely, and take Sleeping Beauty aside, telling everybody that I am going to explain to her in Spanish.

"What happened?" I asked (in Spanish).

"No se...trabajar," she said.  (I don't know work -- either 'I don't know how to work' or 'I don't know what happened with my work.')

Her lower lip is trembling.

"Are you sad?"

"Si, triste, trabajar," she says.  (Yes, sad, work.)

"You have to take off your green card, but you can earn it back if you listen at lunch."  (Like she wouldn't....)  "Should we walk together to take it off?"

She nods, but balks when I try to take her hand.  "Juntas?" I remind her ("together?").  She walks over and takes it off, and goes to put her jacket in her backpack.  She walks over to get in line and buries herself in Aide S's side.

So here's the problem, and it's come up with Teach M and her Aide A as well.  I couldn't just say, "Never mind, Sleeping Beauty can keep her green card."  And, in fact, Sleeping Beauty was partly at fault.

But here's the other thing.  A freaking adult -- with three teenaged and pre-teen daughters -- started it.  Poor Sleeping Beauty.  :-(

Meanwhile, both Bulldozer and The Boss (girl J) were way into everybody's business today.  Sooner or later, they're going to get in the face of the wrong kid, and they're gonna get smacked.

And -- speaking, of course, not at the teacher who would have to discipline both parties to this -- they would so freaking deserve it.  Le sigh.

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