If you've been reading (hey, thanks!) you may have noticed that I mentioned that we had The Sixth Grade Class From the Very Depths of Hell Itself this year. From what admin had observed last spring when they went out to our feeder schools to actually see what all the commotion was about, these kids don't know how to "do school". Not sure why or how, but these bunch doesn't seem to get it when it comes to following rules and basic school functions. How they managed to make it to sixth grade without figuring this out - or being taught and reinforced over and over again - I have no idea. But truthfully, they are a handful. Last year I didn't really see many sixth graders until the second nine weeks, and even then it was rare. This year, my first customers will most likely be sixth (or seventh) grade. (For some reason I'm not hearing a peep about the 8th graders. Maybe that bunch grew up a lot over the summer).
On Thursday, the SECOND full day of school, one of Mrs. Eagle's sixth graders had a Really Really Bad Day. One write up in his homeroom, another write up from Mrs. Eagle who had to have him removed. And another write up from Mrs. Study Hall who had him removed as well. Mom and Dad got three phone calls that day. From what Mrs. Eagle told me, this kid was just HORRID. Came in with a bad attitude and it didn't get any better. Rude, disrespectful, noisy, disruptive, you name it.
As one of the games we all seem to play at the beginning of the year is "Guess Who Will Be the First Customer in ISS", many people were putting their money on this kid. (No we aren't really gambling, that's a figure of speech).
In any case, I was in guidance on Friday (because it was 86 in my portable) and the Guidance Goober asked me to attend a meeting with this kid's team since chances are I'd be seeing him shortly. No problem. So Mr. Cool (who is now an Assistant Principal), Guidance Goober, and the team and I got together and figured out a few things. One, mom and dad are supportive of anything we are willing to do to help their kid. Mom even apologized and took the blame for the melt-down day as she and her son had been arguing before school and that set him off. Two, this kid has good days and bad days. Thursday was bad. Friday was fantastic (it was like a different kid). Three, he has never excelled academically (which is why he was in academic study hall).
So, what we had was a kid who needed to get turned around and turned around pretty quick. And the last thing he needed was to go back to Study Hall because the aide that runs it is not warm and fuzzy and quite honestly, has been known to really go off on kids. And adults. And everyone. Maybe it's the migraines. Whatever. Doesn't matter. What matters is that he really needed a more supportive environment.
Guidance Goober suggested he spend both of his related arts with Coach Math who is running a "how to behave in school and not get in trouble" class for our high level at-risk kids. But this kid didn't need two periods of this, because face it, he needed academic help too.
So I opened my big mouth and said I'd take him.
You should have seen the look of relief on Guidance Goober's and Coach Cool's faces.
"He can come to me sixth period for a study hall and act as my student aide as well," I said. "That way he can get help with his work and feel like he has an important role." In addition, it was decided that if he felt he was having a bad morning, he'd let his homeroom teacher know and he could come out to Our Happy Little Portable to work and pull himself together until he felt he could go back to class.
So, about twenty minutes later I picked up Hatchling in guidance, and Guidance Goober and I told him what was up and he seemed pretty excited. I took him out to Our Happy Little Portable, sat with him a bit and talked about things. (He is motivated by Skittles and realizes he has issues). He seemed like a pretty cool kid who just hates school. We went by Mrs. Eagles class as we toured the building and she had a great talk with him. He was awesome. The only thing he really wanted from Mrs. Eagle was for her to call dad and tell him he had a good day, which she did after school.
So I have a Hatchling sixth period, a little one to tuck under my wing.
We shall see how this goes...