Saturday, December 09, 2006

And just what, exactly, is normal?

We have a number of student teachers in the building this semester and it's not unusual for one of them to ask me if they can come sit in on a class and do an observation. No problem for me as I'm pretty used to having people in my room. One year my classroom was right by the front office and I swore The Principal used my classroom as a tour stop. I tend to get people wanting to observe because I'm one of the few teachers who has my students seated at tables in groups and I use a lot of hand's on activities.

In any case, I had one of the student teachers this week during my Fourth Period Class which is actually one of my better ones. Interestingly enough it's packed with special education kids but for once they really aren't, for the most part, behavior problems. They tend to work hard even if they don't do well academically, they really try and that counts for a lot with me.

I do have one kid in there who's really....well....odd. Doughboy has one of the roundest faces I've ever seen and he's a bit chubby and very pale. He's really different. He talks really fast, and low, so most of the time no one can understand him. I'm always having to slow him down and repeat things until I get the gist of what he's saying. He drives nearly everyone he sits by nuts because he has conversations with himself or with anyone who'll listen. He's not loud, but it does get old after a while.

Anyhow. I get the kids started on the activity for the day and swing back by the student teacher to see if she has any questions. She does.

"Hum, that kid over there," she says nodding her head toward Doughboy. "He has two pairs of glasses on."

I don't even bother to look because for the past two weeks Doughboy has started wearing two pairs of glasses, one placed on top of the other. I asked him about it and he said it helped him to see better. I sugested he asked his mom to take him to get his prescription checked and he said no, he liked wearing the two pair of glasses just fine.

"Oh," I said, "That's just Doughboy."

"Is that normal?" she asks.

I pause for a minute before I answer. "For Doughboy, yes, it's normal. For any other kid, probably not."

1 comment:

EHT said...

Luckily I'm at the end of a very long hallway. I rarely get visitors. They simply wear out before they get to me.

Do you think the number of Boston Boys and Dough Boys are increasing? I do. Even if they aren't classified as special needs I have more and more students who do some very strange things.