Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not What I Was Expecting

That is exactly what I was thinking this morning. Any day that you start the morning with a crisis management meeting for a student out of control is not a good one. I have one student who has been in a downward spiral all year long. He has no self control, acts inappropriately all day, gets in fights, uses racial slurs with minority students, throws temper tantrums in the classroom and is simply at best defiant to the extreme. He's such a train wreck that I dubbed him the anti-christ the first week he was in my class.

Ironically, I was supposed to be his miracle worker, his redeemer, his one last shot to get his act together and pass the 8th grade. It's not that I haven't tried. I have expended more energy on this kid than I have on any other my entire career. But it gets to the point where I can't even conduct class without him spewing venom on me because he can't follow even the simplest of classroom rules.

So here I sit in a meeting telling the crisis team what a complete nightmare the past 12 weeks with this kid has been, that I don't have the skills to deal with this kid who is obviously disturbed beyond any resources I have to draw upon. My voice does not go unheard and his mother tells me she realizes he more messed up than any
of us in the room could imagine.

The sad thing about this situation is that this isn't just a kid who is obnoxious, the monster that he is was not inherited but rather created. He has sustained physical abuse that would make even the most skeptical observer cringe. He's also been told what a sack of shit he is all his life. Yeah nice environment to be brought up in I know. He's been removed from that environment for a couple of years now, but the damage was done a long time ago. I have empathy for him but some days it is just hard to be sympathetic when he's screaming at me "you fucking bitch, I can do what ever I want" I digress.

So we come up with a plan of action for this kid, and basically he's removed from school for the rest of the school year. Mom was taking him that morning out of school and directly to the Emergency Room and putting him under a psych hold for as long as legally possible. Finally he is going to get the intensive psychiatric help he needs. For his sake it's the best thing for him, and honestly I think it's his only hope.

But what I wasn't expecting was for him to stop by my room on his way out of the building. I wasn't expecting him to thank me for letting him be in my class. I wasn't expecting him to actually listen to me when I told him that I wasn't doing this because I hated him. That if I didn't care I wouldn't have called for the meeting. I wasn't expecting him to tell me he would miss me, that he would miss seeing me everyday, miss me helping him feel like he wasn't the loser everyone told him he was every day of his life. I wasn't expecting to see the tears in his eyes, the sincerity in his voice. I wasn't expecting the lump in my throat. The crack in my voice....I wasn't expecting to spend my lunch hour unabashedly balling my eyes out while sitting in my car. No this was not what I was expecting today.


  1. I have taught kids just like that too. Where all year you felt like you did everything and yet still failed. It just goes to show you that you did make a difference in his life. Maybe the only bright spot he had all year was you.

  2. Honestly I think you did the right thing Kat, which sometimes doesn't always make you feel good.

  3. Kat, you have done right. You have done more, you made him feel part of the class, and feel he is a person. Sometimes it is a tough love, but they know. You are wonderful. Hugs x

  4. @ Alice thanks so much for the encouragement sometimes I think I am failing every day with these kids, they are difficult to work with to say the least and draining! lol but I love it! I taught general ed one year and went straight back to Sped at the first chance it's my love,I know I am nuts

  5. @ Doug thanks for the encouragement I appreciate it, I have a funny student post coming up I promise!

  6. @ Libertine, you my dear are a saint! Hugs to you too!!! Keep fighting the good fight chicka

  7. Kat, sometimes it's amazing what gets thru to people when you least expect it. Believe me you did the right thing and someday he will return being the man that you hoped he would be. He will always remember what you did for him and he proved it to you when he dropped by your class. Those 12 months you gave him where probably the best 12 months of his life.

    You’re an amazing person and you've done good lovely lady. I don't think you should be riding the short bus anymore. Don’t ever stop believing that what you do for others goes unnoticed, this boy is your proof.

    With Great Love

    I hope that someday I can have a profound effect on someone’s life like you…. you’re my hero.

  8. You know what..
    someday I wanna be such a teacher like you..
    bcoz it just, u know, wonderful!