This week has been parent conferences and all of them so far have gone great, the parents have been very supportive and understanding of why their child received the grade they did. They have been willing to work with my suggestions on how to work on certain subjects.
Then several parents have also mentioned my "friend" Nicholas, voiced concerns over his behavior in class from what their children tell them. One of my students even plays "Ms. Jennifer" She dresses up in her moms high heels, puts on glasses and lines up all her stuffed animals. She also has to repramand her stuffed Nicholas A LOT. How sad is that? He not only is effecting the children at school, he is also going home with them. It makes me very sad. It isn't fair that I have to devote so much time and energy to a child who could give a shit and who behaves horribly while the others stand by and wait. I am just getting so anry inside about him and it really scares me because I've never felt that way towards any child I've worked with.
Things had been getting better. He had started using the Hooked on Phonics program and with his improving reading skills he was feeling better about himself and about school. He became sort of a buddy and though he still misbehaved quite a bit, he was easier to deal with and teach. Last week things started going downhill. He wasn't listening or following directions as well. He started ignoring my requests to unpack his backpack or clean up his area around his desk. He spread his papers and books all over the floor and played constantly with his pencils and crayons. He continued his way of walking into the classroom after the bells, walking slowly like an old man, far behind the class and deliberatly holding us up. He added this behavior into the classroom whenever he needed to go back to his seat. Whining "I am!!!" When I asked him to please walk quickly back to his seat.
Last Thursday I called him back into the classroom as he was going to lunch to clean his area. Imagine books and pencils and papers and a jacket all spread out on the floor and on the desk next to him. I told him to clean it before he left for lunch. He tried to put some of it in the empty desk next to him (the buffer desk) I explained to him that he had his desk and that his things were to go into it. He whined and ignored my requests, putting the things into it anyway. I reminded him that he refused to sit in that desk before when it was his assigned desk and that now he had made his choice and had to stick with it. Basically it became a battle of the wills with me refusing to let him do anything until he put his things away in his desk and hang up his jacket. He backtalked me several times and after a warning from me, left the room.
I go to my lunch and immediatly am confronted with a gaggle of 1st grade girls who tell me Nicholas hit them with his lunchbox, that he was swinging it at them and hitting them. We are talking about five girls crying about being hit. So I write him up and the principal decides he will be suspended the next day, Halloween.
The parents are called and from what the principal told me the mother freaks out, saying that she feels we pick on her precious poopsie. Whatever. The principal wants me to write him up for disrespect for me but I didn't. Turns out somewhere in a parent meeting the principal had with his parents, that Nicholas is allowed to come to school the next day and join in on all the school fun. How that happened I don't know.
So things have just gotten worse. He argues with me all the time. He left his backpack on the ground the other day after I asked his row to unpack (I call the children by rows to unpack). So I remind him his row was called. 10 min later it's still on the floor. I tell him he needs to put his pack away. He argues with me that I hadn't told him. "Nicholas, I did" "No you didn't" Seriously argues with me even when the other kids say yes I did. Today he left his backpack on the floor for 45 min. Tomorrow if he does it again and tries to talk back to me he is going to the office. And if he refuses to go like the last time I tried to send him off, I am calling in the very big math teacher to come carry him out. I'm tired of that shit.
The whining, the picking, the arguing, the willful disobediance is driving me crazy and making me not want to go to work.
To make matters worse the parents send a note attached to his reportcard today listing all the things they want to discuss with me tomorrow. Things like:
-"Under spelling it is noted that he needs improvement with assigned lists. Based on tests it appears he does well. What improvements would you like to see?"
Hmm ok lets look at the grade book. First of all the category for improvement was "Mastery of assigned lists" He has a score of, 100, 0, 94, 100, 56, 82, 60, 94 for an average of 73...no mastery there.
-"Under conduct all boxes are checked as needs improvement. We were questioning the "respects school property" and "respects personal property"> We have not heard of any problems before."
He trashes his desk, throws his books around (which are school property), refused to put his clothes in their proper place and constantly picks all the erasers out of the classroom pencils. Not cause for a parent conference but certainly cause for a mark on his report card.
-"We noticed low score in conduct (Oh really *snark*). Previously I suggest a behavior modification program, but I have not received any feedback regarding behaviors in the class".
They were also told they needed to write up a letter with what they were doing to help Nicholas and finally turned it in. They also stated that hey were going to put him in counseling. I thought that was what the list of behaviors was for. They cancelled their appointment with the therapist and now say he doesn't need one. So why do they need a list? Besides, why ask for a list full of negative behaviors when they'll never believe it anyway. They run the gamut and cover all negative behaviors...seriously he does them all except for like setting fire to things. I have discussed things he does in class with them in meetings and in notes and they always say he never does anything like that at home.
-"We are flustrated (huh?)with communication since school started we have only received about 2-3 notes. In order for us to help we need more communications."
I have four notes, two conferences, and four notices of concern (ie. referrals). Perhaps she is referring to the stalker like activity of her two calls to me at my HOME one night and then once the next morning before I went to work. I don't take business calls at home and I didn't answer the phone.
Anyway it goes on and on and I am hoping it goes well tomorrow. The V. Principal is going to be sitting in on the meeting, supporting me. I am soooo angry and soo tired of the whole situation I just want to run away. I'm tired of the blame on both the parent's and child's part. For christ sakes he blames everything on me or his classmates. "My stomach is mad at you!" "Why?" "Because it's hungry." Yeah all my fault.
If you are a praying sort please offer up something for me. I could use all the help and good thoughts, spells, incantations whatever, I can get. I feel so negative and so worn down from this situation.