Thursday, October 01, 2009

Blinded By the Light

You've just got to wonder about 7th grade boys.

My fourth period class is, well, interesting. It's a small class, but there are at least three kids in there that Do Not Get Along With Anyone. At All. That annoy and drive everyone nuts. These three have their own tables and work on their own, while the rest of my class does group work.

And they're perfectly content working on their own because they don't like the other kids any more than they like them.

The rest of the kids are also getting very good at correcting all the other kids in class. Including, Fog Boy.

Fog Boy is in a perpetual fog. He's a nice kid, but he's also at risk as he does nothing and hears absolutely nothing you say. At all. It's so bad that he'll raise his hand to ask a question about something I just said and his classmates will all roll their eyes and yell, "She just said that!" This happens all period. His hearing has been tested and it's perfectly fine. It's just that he's too busy fiddling with papers, playing with the zipper on his pencil pouch and basically just checked out to lunch and running about five minutes late. Today his table partner did a fantastic job of prompting him with "Pay attention!", "Look, here on the paper!" and other prompts that I usually do but she's taken it upon herself to do them as he's driving her crazy with his perpetual fog.

It's so bad that I give the class directions by starting off with his name, "Okay Fog Boy, and the rest of you, open your book to page 53," and the like. He giggles and thinks it's funny, but at least it gets his attention for about three seconds.

So today we're going over the guided outline we started yesterday (these kids have a huge problem reading content so we're working on teaching them how to outline their reading), and Fog Boy raises his hand and I call on him.

"I can't see what's going on," he says.

"That's because you stared at the light!" screams the whole class back at him.

"He what?" I ask them.

Drama Boy, who really is in drama, but acts more mature than most of his classmates, answered for them. "While you were out in the hall watching the kids, that fool stood and stared at the light in the projector for like five minutes."

Oh good gracious.

"You stood and stared at the LCD projector light?" I ask.

Fog Boy giggles. "Yeah," he answers. "My eyes are burning."

The rest of the class by now is rolling their eyes, tossing up their hands and just grousing over the foolishness of Fog Boy yet again.

"Why on earth would you do that?" I ask him. Although I'm not sure I really want to know.

"I don't know," he answers.

So, I filled out a nurse form for him and sent him on his way but only after writing specifically what he did so that the nurse would know that it was a very poor decision on his part. The other kids were insisting that any behavior that stupid would generate a write up and the nurse was sure to do it. (We have a new nurse this year - she's not warm and fuzzy like our last one and these kids are nearly scared of her.)

After Fog Boy left the rest of the class sighed and settled down. I paused for a moment and asked them, "Is it me, or is he like this all the time?"

"All the time!" they chorused. "And he was like this in sixth grade too!"

And he's driving them just about as crazy as he's driving me.


Erica Thomas said...

It's so funny and a little sad when a class is collectively frustrated by one student's shenanigans. I had a question-asker one year who I actually had to limit to three questions a class period. The sweetest quietest boy was so frustrated that one day he just screamed "Shut up!" I couldn't help but laugh.

jwg said...

I once had a kid we called "Susan the Vague". Turns out she had a serious case of ADD, without the H, that went undiagnosed because she wasn't a discipline problem. Medication helped. Sounds like Fog Boy.

Sarah said...

I have a seventh grade boy who is quite similar... your post had me laughing out loud!

He was actually LUCKY enough to stay after school with me today to finish up a late assignment before walking home... yes, staying late on a Friday! A natural consequence for walking through September school days... yes... in a fog.

Rachel said...

I absolutely love the nickname! Once I read the description, I knew exactly who that was in my 6th grade AND 8th grade classes.

I have refused to let 6th grade Fog Boy and the rest of the class ask any questions about an assignment or a test that I already explained when going over the directions. Then I get to write on the test paper for the parent to see, "I explained this when we went over the directions as a class." I also just let him sit there with his hand waving in the air when the students should be silent when completing the "Do Now."

He even asks questions about things I have written on the board so it's not even just a listening issue! "What homework assignment are you collecting?" I just point to the board because since Day 1, I've had "Take out HW# (pg 32 lesson 2.1 #1-4)" up there before the Do Now assignment.

Sad thing is, he was tested. There's absolutely nothing wrong with him except for the fact that he hasn't been trained to listen or pay attention when he should.

Oh, and I won't get to pass him off to the 7th grade teacher because I also teach 7th grade ...