These stories were submitted to me to share with our readers. They are written through the eyes of a teacher. Please enjoy and comment!
Later this year I am going to lose my first student back to regular education. When I first met him several years ago, this child was held by UCLA as unteachable. The parents should put him in a home for the rest of his life. He has come a long way in the time I have known him. I cannot tell you how proud I am of him. Hopefully I will have two more students going back to regular Special Ed in the near future. Either at the end of this year or the start of the next school year.
I have a student now that UCLA had given up on. He is so bright it scares me at times. He is in sixth grade but I am teaching him a high school curriculum for most subjects. His temper and outlandish outbursts landed him in my classroom. His outbursts have been reduced to one or two per week. He nearly killed me the first day that I was working with him. I took him into a time out room and as he walked into the room he grabbed a metal file box that weighed about twenty pounds and threw it in the air it just missed my head on the way down. I removed a lot of things from the time out room after that day.
I believe in the possible and try to get my students to believe in themselves. Not everything I try works. There are days when everything fails and we are lucky to get to the next day and start again. There are days and weeks when the students will not let you do it, but you try. I only had two students today. They were fixated on a fight that they had yesterday on the way home. During the first fifteen minutes of class they kept the fight going. I could not get them to let it go. I separated them. I took one for a walk. Nothing it seemed was going to get them to be civil. Finally I said I would treat them to lunch at McDonald’s if they could be civil to each other. One of their goals is that they are to give each of the other student’s compliments. Compliments are hard for them and are restricted to nice shoes, nice shirts, and nice hair. Compliments started flowing and I gave out stickers. Inside of five minutes we were back on task. They had forgotten for the moment the fight. I do not know what will happen tomorrow. The three of us went to McDonald’s for lunch. They went home with maximum behavior points for the day. Could I have done it with a less expensive bribe? Was a bribe a good idea? I guess I will find out in the morning.
My students do not have academic goals when I first get them in my classroom. I have an IEP this week and have to come up for the first time academic goals for the student. He is in tenth grade. He is a bright child whose behaviors have precluded him from a typical academic setting. He has thrown desks, and disturbed classrooms with his moaning. He has been to Phoenix and other schools. I have to write academic goals for Thursday’s IEP.
His previous IEP’s do not offer much help. I do not think that their observations are an accurate assessment of his abilities. They list his reading comprehension at barely sixth grade level. I have him doing high school reading. I do not know whether I am too optimistic or to unskilled to assess his abilities. They do state that as time went on that he became less and less responsive to their queries and tests. I hope I can find some appropriate goals for him.
I do feel that I talk as well as I write. I need at times to express myself. I hope you do not find my thoughts pointless, or tiresome. I will check with your office tomorrow to schedule an appointment.