Today I sent home my very first ever behavior note to a parent. This particular student has trouble, sometimes, controlling his behavior and today was he not anywhere near controlling himself. Yesterday was rough but there were few times when his misbehavior was concrete enough that I could punish him for it. Today was worse.
He sometimes gets on a kick of claiming he hates school and everything is dumb. I have seen my classroom teacher handle this frequently. She is great at classroom management and can pretty much get anyone back on track but even she succeeds in curbing this behavior about 2/3 of the time. I knew I was in for it and it was only an hour and a half into the day.
The morning passed and I had him move his clip one time, for refusing to do work. At recess, he sat and drew calmly. After special, the switch was flipped and I couldn’t get it off. Talking with his neighbors, yelling at his neighbors, talking out of turn, sitting on the table, laughing hysterically for a length of time that was much longer than necessary, getting other students to laugh and act out.
Simply, the nightmare scenario of the student teacher left (almost) alone with her students. We read a Froggy book and in the story Froggy’s cake explodes. That was the final push. Over the edge he went. I finished the book and he just could not get it under control. I had all of the students stand up and hop around, stand on one foot, clap. Then we sat and stretched and took some deep breaths, in the hope that he and the other student he was gearing up would be able to regain some control. The other students, aside from those two, were able to relax and get ready to go back to work. I sent the student to the hall to try and calm down, mainly because I hoped the other student would get himself back under control and there would one less person’s behavior I would have to deal with. That student was able to regain control after another minute of stretching.
I got all of the students in the room started on the next activity and went to to the hall to see if my student who was misbehaving had managed to calm down. He was rolling on the floor laughing still. I explained that he needed to take some deep breaths and sit still so that he could calm down. I left him there for another minute. In that minute the Principal walked by. I just happened to look up as she walked two students past the door. I said a little prayer that she wouldn’t talk with him because I firmly believed he would calm down without an audience to perform for. After a minute went by, I went back to the hall and without asking if her felt better, told him it was time to go back in and do work.
He must have gotten an idea from seeing the Principal walk by because he said to me, “I think I need to go to -the principal’s- office to calm down.” Well, let me tell you something. The Principal’s office has a time-out room that he has gone to sit in before. I think I am safe to assume that he did not want to do his work and thought if he went there he could get out of it. I said no, praying to God I would not have to go back on that firm statement and send him down there simply because I was out of ideas.
He must have gotten the picture because the rest of day was rough but no where near as bad as it had been. Now we come to the end of the day. Because yesterday was rough and today was terrible, I knew to really bring it home and let him know I am serious, I had to send home a red note. The red notes get sent home when students move their clip more than once. It doesn’t happen like that every day or for every student but today it happened for this one. I have never written a “bad” note home and I have a bit of stomach ache over it. I suppose, I did what I had to do but I am anxious to get the note back or not. The parents have to sign the note and I am terrified that they will not be happy that someone who is not the paid teacher sent a “bad” note home. I am also terrified because he threatened to throw it away and I told him if he did I would make a phone call to his family. I meant what I said and I said what I meant by man am I terrified of having to make that phone call.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day and I am fairly sure that I will be moving many many clips because I absolutely do not want my classroom teacher coming back to a mess like today. Anyways, I am going to get back to trying to sleep and not being able to because my stress level is through the roof! I cannot imagine that this kid is more worried about the not home than I am!