Friday, August 12, 2011

Just a Leeetle Bit Different

You ever have a kid who just is annoying as hell, drives you (and the rest of the kids) up a beam but who you really, really, really like?

We have one this year.

A few years ago, we didn't have enough kids that qualified for placement in our ED unit (emotionally disturbed) so they relocated that unit at another middle school.  This year, however, the numbers were up, so we had the unit moved back to The School.  We needed to find a teacher for the unit and NO ONE wanted it (even out of state teachers applying to the district didn't want it - face it, dealing with emotionally disturbed kids is not everyone's cup of tea.)  So, the Principal talked to Mr. Baseball, one of our special ed teachers, and he agreed to do it.  Now I, for one, think this is a brilliant idea because he has a great way with kids (especially boys) because he's also a coach.

In any case, Happy Boy is one of his students.

When we first found out that we were going to have one of his students we were a bit concerned - after all these are usually High Maintenance kids and there are times they do not do well in a normal classroom.  Over they years I've had quite a few of them, some did well, others didn't do well at all, and it all comes down to the kid, what their particular disability is, and how it all plays out.  However, Happy Boy is on consult which means he's able to spend pretty much the entire day in the regular ed classroom, so he's not as severe as some of Mr. Baseball's other kids.

Our IEP's aren't ready to be signed yet (hopefully on Monday) so I don't really have a clear picture yest of Happy Boy's disability outside of the fact that he's major ADHD, he has some form of Autism, and he has absolutely no filter and says whatever pops in his mind.  His social skills are very weak, but he's probably one of the most social kids I've ever seen.  He is DELIGHTED to be in school.  It's one great big adventure for him, and he comes in just ready to go every morning.  He's got longish hair that's often quite unkempt (he honestly looks like a mad scientist!) and he often looks like he just rolled out of bed, but he's always on time, happy to there, and ready to let everyone know.

He's driven both Mrs. Reading and Mrs. Social Studies to distraction the first few days, and he's freaked out a few of the kids.  Apparently he wanted to impress all the kids in Mrs. Social Studies class by saying the "F" word as often as he could.  (It worked, they freaked.)  A quick email to Mr. Baseball, a quick talk in the hall, and that one was nipped in the bud.  He's in my seventh period class which has a pretty high level of pretty low kids (why does that always happen?), and he had one kid decide she couldn't take the fidgeting anymore and she moved to sit by herself.  The other two left at his table don't seem to mind him much, and are often pretty helpful when he leaves early (he leaves my class ten minutes early to catch the special ed bus home.)  All that being said, this kid is SMART and can actually find things like his homework and his science lab contract (signed!) and turn it in - that's more than my regular ed kids chose to do at times.

So today he was in rare form.  He comes racing up to me before class to inform me that he hadn't taken his medication and he needed someone to walk him to the nurse because he didn't remember how to get there "because I really need to take my medication now and I really hope it's okay because I forgot so I need to get to the nurse but I don't know how to get there."

Okey dokey.  One of my other kids volunteered to take him, and off they go, Happy Boy just chattering away.

They come back before class, Happy Boy is all bubbles, and we begin work on our notebooks.  This was the first day we did our student notebooks and Happy Boy actually had his composition book (bless him) and was having a grant time cutting and gluing and just doing fine.

"I'm having fun, Mrs. Bluebird!" he yelled across the class a few times.  (When's the last time a seventh grader told me that?)  The other kids didn't seem to know how to react to this one.

Ten minutes before the end of class he yells, "Mrs. Bluebird is it time for me to go now?!" and when I said it was, he needed to pack up, his tablemates took his notebook and said they'd finish up for him.  "Oh thank you!  You guys are the best!  Thanks so much!" and off he goes...only to poke his head into the room, "Mrs. Bluebird can you open my locker?!"  So I go out to the locker, open it for him.  "Oh, Mrs. Bluebird, you are the nicest teacher ever!," he yells (I think that's the only volume he has.)  "Thank you so much!  You have a great weekend!  Bye!" and off he goes.

Later this afternoon I'm talking with Mrs. Reading and Mrs. Social Studies and the topic of Happy Boy comes up.  Mrs. Social Studies nods her head, "You know, he can be annoying as hell, but I really, really like the kid."

And we all agreed.  He's pretty awesome.


The Bus Driver said...

I experienced a child similar to happy boy, except he simply doesnt want to listen... EVER.... I think he is on medication cuz in the morning, he is fine, quiet, well behaved... in the afternoon its a fight to get him to stay seated! Its hard to get angry at him because to me, its clear he cant seem to help it. He tries... but he doesnt seem to be able to help it.

Dan Edwards said...

o o

Bravo for you....that kid seems to bring some life to your day!
Have a Great School Year!

TeacherFromTN said...

I love this! Somehow, I always get the quirky kids, and I fall in love each time. Maybe some of his happy will rub off on the others!