Sunday, October 30, 2016

And then there was the Minion

We had a nice fall break at the beginning of the month with warm weather and many of us headed out of town.  (I went to Colorado to visit Momma Bird who relocated there this past summer.  I had The List of Chores to do for her.  List completed...)

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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Going Three for Three and Dodging Mashed Potatos

It's been an interesting week in Our Happy Little Portable.

We're in the last week of the grading period and as such, I'm seeing quite a bit of activity.  Kids have racked up a lot of discipline points and write-ups and they're landing out with me.  And for most of them, it's their second or third visit.

This week we were blessed with The Tyrant.  This little guy is a sixth grader who came to us with a behavior file that boggled the mind.  He is a piece of work.  Has a hair trigger temper, refuses to do anything he does not want to do, and is angry with the world.

Oh yay.

The first day he was out with us I had to call Admin to come remove him as he would not be quiet, would not stay in his seat, and absolutely utterly refused to do his assignments (he'd throw them at me).  When Coach Cool asked him to get his backpack, he screamed "NO!" and went home with out it.

The second day was pretty much a repeat of the first but slightly better.  I didn't have to call to have him removed until later in the day.  (Keep in mind I rarely ever call to have a kid removed.  It's just not something I usually have issues with but this kid...well, he's something else.)

Today was our third - and thankfully, last - day with The Tyrant.  He was, amazingly, almost done with his work (even though it was crap) although he was getting very frustrated with math because he does not know his basic multiplication tables.

Today started out rough.  There was some police activity in the neighborhood so Coach Cool had me relocate my classroom from Our Happy Little Portable into the building, into a room across from the library.  We call it the reference room, but it's more like book storage combined with a meeting room.  In any case, I wheeled in my cart with emergency supplies, computers, and files and camped out there for the day.  It's not ideal, but it works.  I only had four boys this morning, including The Tyrant, so it probably wouldn't be too bad until they started adding kids (which they usually don't when we're in the building, they wait until the following day).

Mrs. Sweet, the library aide who takes the kids to lunch, arrived from the library and took them down to the cafeteria to pick up their lunches while I have my 30 minutes duty free lunch.  Ate lunch, checked our mail box for assignments, and headed back to our room, passing by the Librarian's desk.

And look across to see the lead custodian enter the room we were using with a bucket, rags, and a yellow "wet floor" sign.

"Oh crap," I asked her.  "What's going on with my kids?"

"That little blonde one you have?  He apparently lost his mind, started screaming at everyone, and started slinging mashed potatoes from his lunch all over MY room," The Librarian responded.  Oh she was MAD.  (And I don't blame her.)

I get to the room to find Mrs. Sweet and the Lead Custodian cleaning up the room, wiping down shelves, tables, chairs, and the rug.  (Which was going to have to be shampooed tonight apparently).

Mrs. Sweet stood up, "I honestly don't know what happened or what I did.  One minute he was fine, the next minute he's flipping the bird at the other kids, screaming and throwing mashed potatoes at them.  Or maybe he was aiming at me.  I really don't know.  But he threw them everywhere."

I assured her that she didn't do anything, that the Tyrant flips his lid at the slightest provocation and there isn't anything we can do about it.

"So where is he?" I asked.

"The Enforcer came and got him," she said.  "I had to call for an administrator before he tore the room apart."

Oh great.  The Enforcer.  Who is now The Principal.

So, I had the other kids write witness statements (more to keep them busy than anything else, but they LOVE witness statements) and pretty soon The Guidance Diva came by and told me that she'd just dropped The Tyrant's files off on The Enforcer's desk and that The Tyrant was perched on the arm of the chair like a little vulture waiting to pounce.

"That sounds like The Tyrant," I told her.  "Are they finally suspending him?"

"Finally," she said.  I'm sure his team will be delighted.  It's nearly a daily occurrence having to have him removed from a classroom, but we can't do anything until a behavior plan is in place as he's identified as special education."

Well, he went three for three in my room.  Three days in ISS, Three days removed from ISS.

And then there was the mashed potatoes.

Seriously.  You can't make this stuff up.

Two days until break.