Yesterday was one hell of a day at school.
I have a student who is difficult do to many factors. Some days she's great. The next day she's so defiant I have to have my 'bag of tricks' ready at any minute. Yesterday her day started out bad and got worse and worse and by 11am she wouldn't even write her name on her paper. She's had a lot of rough days lately and my 'tricks' were getting pretty played out. With her being out right defiant I called her mom with her standing next to me. (I obviously know mom well and expected the reaction I got - or I wouldn't have called.) 17 minutes later she was in our classroom and pulled the kid into the hall. They had a long talk and the student worked for three hours straight (except for lunch). She got all caught up and mom finally left. It worked wonders.
That's a crazy desperate story from a teacher. But the day kept getting more and more interesting.
The previous day one of my darlings brought a Ninjago to school. This wasn't the first time. Not the second time. But the third time, he came to school with so much crap shoved in his pockets he could barely sit down. I called him to my desk told him to empty his pockets and then he lost it. Crying, screaming & carrying on as if I told him to remove a leg or something. I had him fill out a written reminder and watched him put it into his Take Home Folder.
Back to yesterday. The morning started out by me asking for his signed Written Reminder. He said with a trembling voice, "Oh Mrs. Humphrey, I forgot it on my kitchen table! My mom signed it and we talked about it but I just forgot it. I promise I will bring it tomorrow. I'm sorry!"
The whole point of the Written Reminder is to remind them and make the parents aware. I email his mom several times a week and decided this was small potatoes than other issues he has going on, so I trusted him and let it go.
At 3:20 (day ends at 3:40) I went to check his desk because he's been know to hide food and such in there and low and behold I spotted a little corner of a Written Reminder from the bottom of his desk. I reached in and pulled it out and looked right at him and said, "You lied to me. Get to the hall." I said it right to him and very quietly and followed him out of the classroom. As we walked out the other 25 kids were silent.
I talked to him about losing my trust and all that jazz while my mind was reeling. It was so late in the day now, how could I give him an effective consequence? Finally I thought of it. I wouldn't let him take the bus home. He'd have to serve time after school and be picked up. I've never done this before.
I called mom's cell, work, dad's cell....I started to get very nervous. I knew one of them was there when he gets home and he should be arriving home in about 20 minutes....so where were they?
Finally dad answered from work - as the first bell rang - I gave him the low down and said I think it's important he faces a major consequence immediately. Dad agreed. He'd get a hold of mom and I would keep him until she got there.
During that time I had him clean out his desk and work on hidden late work.
She showed up at 4:26.
Christian needs to be picked up by 4:30.
I sat down with them. We talked about what's right and wrong. The importance of focusing during school and working hard. The importance of telling the truth. She had him choose a consequence. He chose no video games for one week. She nodded and said, "I will record it, but you will not watch Ninjago tonight." You would have thought she asked for his OTHER leg! The kid lost it! Fell off his chair bawling his eyes out yelling, "Mommy NO!" as if she just took a whip out of her purse.
(At this point Victoria took off her head phones and turned around from her computer with a look on her face like, "What are they doing to that kid?!")
I began packing up his things. I packed up my things. I turned off the lights and the kid was still crying and yelling. Finally she got him up and out of there. We thanked each other and I was nearly ten minutes late picking up Christian. But I wouldn't change one bit of it. I bet that's one afternoon he'll remember for a very long time.
Now that, was one hell of a day!