...And now the bad news

You knew it was coming. Even though I didn't find myself 100% exhausted at the end of the day that isn't a reflection of my classroom management skills at all. By the end of the day I felt like I was in a tub of water, about to boil over. There was a hum of chatter. I can quiet them by standing at the front of the class, two hands held up, but invariably the chatter grows and grows and grows...

Meanwhile I'm completely stymied by my most severe problem child. He is a sweet, chubby kid originally from Guatemala. But he literally cannot control himself. Beyond the basic behavioral problems (gets out of his seat without raising his hand, calls out without raising his hand, etc.) he has a whole other slew of issues. All day he sharpens his pencil, constantly asking to empty the shavings while he is left with nothing but a stub at the end of the day. Randomly he takes out pieces of paper to fold into all sorts of wonderfully distracting shapes. He distracts anyone and everyone he's seated by, especially the girls. And by the end of the day he does nothing but make noises - airplane buzzing, dog barking, beeping, etc. By all accounts he needs an evaluation for special ed, but his mom refuses. And when discussing his behavior late this afternoon I asked him, "Do you want to move on to Strike Three and lose your class job and have me call your mother?"

He replied, "No, I don't want my mom to hit me." It might have been the most heartbreaking thing I've ever heard. But I can't let that stop me from following through own my preset management. And meanwhile nobody around him can work.

All I have left to keep my sanity is that tomorrow is another day, and I will look for a new way to do better. Or better bet, tomorrow isn't just another day, it's Friday, which means I'll have the weekend to recover my sanity.


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