It's been unusually quiet this year - so far - in ISS. Even the folks in guidance and all the admins were commenting about it. And as luck would have it, the only kids getting sent out to see me are sixth graders. We're all just waiting for the tidal wave to hit.
In the meantime, I've been sitting in Our Happy Little Portable with one, maybe two, kids a day. The past three days I've had a rather nice little guy, Stormy, who gets mad and tends to storm off when things don't go his way. He's the third in line - I had his oldest brother when I taught Science, and his middle brother tended to find his way out to Our Happy Little Portable quite a bit but managed to pull it together before he went off to high school.
Stormy did pretty well during his visit with me, despite having brief moments of shutting down when his math got to him (hell, I didn't like fractions when I was his age either). But overall he was a pleasant kid and I enjoyed having him. He did his three days, finished his work, and I sent him on his merry way back to his classes.
So imagine my surprise this morning, when there was a banging on my door, and I opened it to find a very upset Stormy on my landing. He didn't say a word, just stormed by me, sat down in his old seat, crossed his arms and stared straight ahead.
I noticed Officer Cool down the breezeway and gave him a thumbs up that all was okay. It looked like he'd been following Stormy from wherever he stormed off from. A second later Principal Cool called asking if I'd seen Stormy.
"Yup, he's right here," I told him.
"Okay, he had a tussle with someone in the locker room and when Coach Grump told him to go to his office and wait for him, he took off. I thought he might find his way out to you."
Principal Enforcer then dropped by to check on Stormy. I told him all was fine, we'd get his computer and binder sent out and I could keep him busy until we figured out what to do with him.
Basically he stayed with me all day and after about an hour of fuming at whatever aggravated him in the first place, he got to work on more math, and other assignments. He then told me that he didn't know where else to go when he got mad. He feels safe in ISS (because there's no drama and he's been out here with no other kids for the most part). I guess it's a good thing he has somewhere that he feels safe although there is some irony that it's ISS.
They never got to his referral today so I told him to go back to class tomorrow morning and he would probably end up back out with me for a day or two (and idea he loved).
However, the most heart-warming thing about the whole situation is we were walking in the building on our last bathroom break and were heading to get his backpack out of his locker when we saw another kid heading our way with a hall pass.
"That's the guy I got into it with this morning," Stormy hissed.
The other kid stopped and I was about ready to get between the two of them when he started talking to Stormy. "Man, I want to apologize for what happened this morning in gym. I really feel bad about it, and just want to say I'm sorry," He held out his hand for Stormy. "Can we be friends?" He asked.
Stormy took his hand, "Yeah man, we can. I'm sorry too."
There are times these kids just amaze me.