Continuing in the soap opera theme of a couple of posts ago, I have one to share from my own experience on Thursday. I didn’t even have to adjust the title to fit as it works well just as it is- they are of course young, and they were quite restless. If anyone knows about autism, one of the things even the higher-functioning kids need is a structured environment and schedule- everything should remain the same from day to day. It appears that the same holds true for kids with behavioral issues. I was in a middle school BD/LD classroom on Thursday. I should start by saying I was in this class before several times and have never really had a problem before Thursday. The fact that there are usually two teachers and two assistants in the room has always helped a great deal. However, this time both teachers had subs. Also, the day before both teachers and both assistants were out sick- believe it or not, this was not engineered! Between these two events, the kids just fell apart. It didn’t really help that the plans included having the kids do something they apparently never do even when the teachers are there. This was mentioned, loudly I should add, by 6th grade and 8th grade students alike- “We never do vocabulary!” In addition, they absolutely would not listen to any instruction from me. I tried to follow the plans as given, but they were already trying to go ahead, and were actually getting upset at me for trying to do what the teacher had written. Sigh. In the end I just had to give up and let them work on their own. The 8th graders I think actual did the work. The 6th graders, on the other hand, for the most part chose to do their own thing. One even brought in a video game book and would read only this. The assistants tried too, but in the end they were just back after being sick for a few days so it really wasn’t worth getting on them until the teachers returned.
However, trying to get them to work was only part of this story. All day many of the students had anger issues, threw thing st one another, and had to be pulled from their regular classes. There were a couple of teachers or social workers who were in on and off trying to keep the kids in line. Parents were called. What a drama. Even the class where I had only one student was a bust. She came to school late the period before, ate her lunch for that period (she was supposed to be doing math), and continued eating it during her social studies period. She refused to read until she was done, never mind that girls are generally good at multitasking. Clearly she was just stalling. Of course, when she did start reading she couldn’t concentrate thanks to other kids in the room creating problems. If you’re confused at this, you’re not alone- it can be confusing. Most of the day there are two classes going on at once- one by each teacher. Additionally, there can be kids in there who cannot be in their regular classes for some reason or other (remember above where I mentioned pulling kids out of other classes). At this time, I had social studies with 7th grade (the one student), but the other sub had math with 6th grade. One of the 6th graders had big issues all day.
Well, tune in next time for hopefully a post with less drama. Well at least a better day for me- drama is great for the reader 😛 . Otherwise, I will have to work in another soap opera title. 😉