But back to school we went, and with it came a phone call one morning from The Enforcer.
Now that The Enforcer is the Principal, I don't talk to him as much as he's not working behavior referrals for the kids. However, once in a while he gets involved with a kid issue and today was one of those days.
"So, Mrs. Bluebird, need your help. I have this kid, a seventh grader, who just absolutely hates school, except for band. Kid is falling apart, but he's borderline in a few classes. Put him in study hall, but that didn't work due to the number of kids. I've got his dad on the phone and we were wondering if you could take him under your wing one period a day and see if you can get some work out of him."
Oh here we go again.
Turns out I know the kid, he'd been in my room a few times last year, and there are days he'll work and then there are days he will Absolutely Freaking Refuse to do Anything He Does Not Want to Do. At All. He's also one of the rudest kid I've ever met which apparently is how The Enforcer met him. He's one of the few kids I've ever heard who would talk back and buck up to The Enforcer And It Did Not Go Well for him.
I told The Enforcer that I wasn't going to make any promises, but I'd try.
He's a bit of an odd duck, a small kid, and very immature. He reminds me of an 3rd grader in a lot of ways. He cannot for the life of him figure out how to use a locker, can't get to class on time to save his life and loses things. Which is why his parents got him these glasses that look like goggles that strap to his head. And make him look like a Minion.
The Minion got his schedule changed and showed up in my class the next day.
"Mr. Guidance said I'm your aide," he declared when he came in and sat down in the seat I pointed out for him. Right next to me. (He was not happy. I happen to know he dislikes me a lot - mainly because when I've had him before I've held him accountable. He hates that)
"Well, actually it says aide, but you're here more for study hall. And when my aides aren't working for me, they're doing their school work."
"It says I'm your aide," he repeated.
It was going to be one of those days.
The Minion has his moments. He still has this idea that he's my aide and wanted to know why Honor Roll Kid, my regular aide, got to run errands in the building and he didn't.
"Because he has all his work done and has A's and B's," I said.
He pondered that for a few days and kept harping on why he didn't get to run errands. Which is obviously something he wants to do. So now we have a routine. His teachers email me work for him to do, I give it to him, he does it, and then he gets to use the swipe card, go into the building, and deliver it to the teacher. Whatever it takes to keep him working and happy.
He wanted to go to the book fair. I told him he had to behave and get his work done. He got his work done but then wanted to be disruptive and wave his arms and make faces at my regular customers so I told him he'd lost his chance to go to the book fair and he'd have to see if he could do better the next day. He did and he got to go to the book fair.
Really, showing this kid rewards and consequences is pretty easy at this point. He's still rude, still cranky, and still very strange with his big google eyeglasses strapped to his head.
And when he showed up in a yellow rain slicker the other day, looking EXACTLY like a Disney Minion, I about died...but so far, so good.