Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So today right after the staff meeting I had to bring in two of my 6th grade boys to see the principal. I don’t actually know what they did wrong, but another teacher told them this had to happen today so we had our meeting. The whole experience was difficult because I felt like I was being blamed for not controlling them, even though I know the other teacher was trying to be helpful. The principal was questioning them and yelling at them and kept trying to explain to me that these boys were misbehaving because they lived with their grandmothers. After they got reamed out for a while, I got up enough guts to say I don’t think they’re bad boys (I really don’t) but one of them is the definition of ADHD- he literally cannot sit in one seat for an entire class, and he cannot focus on more than one question at a time. I explained that I think he just has too much energy and gets distracted so I want to try giving him something to do with his hands during class and see if that helps. The principal seemed to think this was an okay idea and today we tried it- I had him color in a checked pattern on a piece of paper- and I think it might work. The other boy, the principal thinks, just has a hard time reading and so as he gets confused he just stops trying and stops paying attention, I agreed and we’re going to meet for some reading practice after school from now on.
The whole experience was bizarre, though, because these are two of my favorite (shh… don’t tell) students and I know they are both very bright. They are some of the best at being engaged and responsive when they are focused. I know I probably give them too much free reign of the room, and that’s why we had to go see the principal today, but I really don’t like being called out on it by someone else and not just for the sake of my ego. I feel like I’m trying to understand these kids and why they’re all over the place, instead of forcing them to sit in their seats and copy from the board which, although they might be quiet and “disciplined”, doesn’t mean they’re actually learning anything.
I can’t decide if this experience has made me more or less inclined to go to the principal for help dealing with my 5th graders, either. I’ll have to see how next week goes since this past week to prove a point I kept about ¾ of the class after school in detention. Maybe they got the message…

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