I had to call the office today to get backup for Tyrese. I’m terrified that I might be in big trouble. It has me really shaken up.
The students were super noisy in the morning and I was having trouble getting them to be quiet during their morning journal writing. Tyrese wasn’t writing in his journal and he was being very distracting. He had a plastic water bottle that he kept crinkling. The students are allowed to have water and lately they’ve been doing this think where they poke holes through the tops of water bottles and drink through the holes.
Tyrese was sitting there sucking away and squeezing the bottle and then blowing it up and squeezing. I warned him that he needs to put the water bottle away.
He says that he’s thirsty. I tell him to take a drink or I’m going to take it away. He says okay but continues to make noise.
So I walk around the class and when Tyreses isn’t looking I sneak up next to him and rip the water bottle right out of his mouth.
It wasn’t anything violent, he was sucking on it with no hands so I took it out of his mouth and Tyrese freaks out and takes a dive. He starts to cry out that I twisted his tooth or something and flops to the floor.
I tell him to stand up and he starts crawling for the door. By now the entire class is watching and it’s clear to me that Tyrese is putting on a show.
I try to physically close the door, but I was worried about hurting Tyrese more, so he makes it into the hallway.
I’m shaking with adrenaline. I’m scared, I don’t know what to do. I try yelling at Tyrese to come back and he curls up into a ball in the middle of the hallway. I wait a second to see if anyone comes by. Nothing.
I don’t know what to do. I have a classroom full of students and we need to start a language arts lesson. So I ask one of my sweeter students to “Go down to the office and have somebody come deal with Tyrese.”
It’s not like I can pretend like it didn’t happen, and I can’t let the students see that I’m weak or scared or anything like that.
Tyrese did come back to class, but he missed an entire lesson. He came back during independent reading while I was benchmarking more students.
Principal Belstead told Tyrese to sit at his desk and she called me into the hallway to talk.
Principal Belstead: “Tyrese said you took his water out of his mouth.”
Me: “He was being very distracting with it. I told him to put it away.”
PB: “Did you warn him before you took it out of his mouth?”
PB: “I’m sure he’s fine. But I can’t have you taking things out students’ mouths like that.”
Me (fighting back tears): “I understand.”
PB: “I told him he could have his water bottle back if he finishes his work.”
Fat chance of that happening. I kept Tyrese in for lunch (which subsequently meant I missed lunch) so he could finish his morning work and the stuff he missed from Language Arts.
His behavior didn’t improve in the afternoon, but fortunately I don’t think he even remembered what happened in the morning.
Tyrese walks home with his older brother(?) or somebody so I had to call his mom and leave a message after school to cover my ass.