I have one student who definitely needs to up his meds. He can usually keep it together in the morning, but in the afternoon he can’t function like a regular person. Which makes it even more frustrating to have him in my class because everyone knows he’s capable of working. It would be better if he couldn’t work at all, then he would easily be moved to a BD classroom.
Anyway, it all started with a stupid pencil. I asked Tyrese to get started on his social studies worksheet and he didn’t have a pencil. So he got up and took a pencil off of a girl’s desk. One of my sweeter girls, actually. She got upset (naturally) and said that Tyrese took her pencil. Tyrese said that there are plenty of other pencils. The girl argued that she had brought that particular pencil from home and was given to her by her grandmother.
Tyrese again said, “So what? There are plenty of other pencils.” and that’s when I stepped in and said, “You’re right, Tyrese. There are other pencils. Can you please give Michelle her pencil back and take another one.”
Tyrese: “Why can’t she get another pencil?”
Me: “Because that pencil belongs to her.”
Tyrese: “So what? She can share, can’t she.”
That’s when I took the pencil out of Tyrese hand and gave it back to Michelle. And that’s when Tyrese walked away. And he didn’t come back to his seat the rest of the afternoon. He began by taking one of our winter decorations off of the wall and walking it around the room. I reminded everyone to “ignore distractions” and continue working. They continued to ignore him until he was physically hitting people in the head with the decoration.
That’s when I redirected him again and took away his points for not keeping his hands to himself and not being in his area. He continued to wander around the classroom and eventually made it to the doorway.
Let me just say that he’s trying to get attention. He wants to argue and fight and occupy my time. But I have 24 other students in my classroom. If it’s between giving my attention to one student versus 24 students, I’m going to give my attention to the other 24. I can’t force Tyrese to work without sacrificing the quality of the education to the other students.
Eventually he walked out. I sent a student to the office to let them know that Tyrese is unaccompanied in the hallway and I got on with my lesson. And you know what? The rest of the lesson was fun, so I shut the door and locked Tyrese out. Our classroom starting laughing and jumping up and down and Tyrese started knocking on the door to be let in. And I didn’t open the door.
When Principal Belstead finally came I handed her Tyrese’s work that he didn’t finish and told her this is what he has to do. Let me say, my principal looked pissed. And to make it worse she was being super sweet to Tyrese, saying, “Oh, okay, Tyrese, let’s take a little break and then I’ll help you finish your work.” Fuck that! He ends up getting exactly what he wanted: one-on-one attention and his work made easier. He’s not being held to our standards, we’re lowering ourselves to his standards.
I wrote Tyrese a detention for leaving the classroom, which is really a punishment for me because I’ll have to give up my lunch to keep him in.
All-in-all, a really shitty Monday.