Friday, July 11, 2014

Play the hand you are dealt

During 2012-2013 I taught a challenging student - and I use the word "taught" even though I mean that he was in my classroom. I am not bothering to reference all of the times I talked about Curtis and am not going back and reading what I wrote. His behavior was horrible.

I couldn't get any administrative backup so I had no power. I had to have him removed during almost every test I gave - which was the only backup the administration gave me.

I would write him up - and nothing ever happened.

I met a friend for lunch yesterday and we got to talking about Curtis. She said that she had put him out in the hall virtually every day because of his behavior. I know I saw him in the hall from other people's classes this past year.

He is old enough to drive and incapable of behaving in a way that allows you to teach other people while he is in the room. (and, no, there is no IEP and there is no reason for this deficiency except willfulness on his part)

And so this got me to thinking. I kept him in the room, tried to teach around him, wrote him up and got nothing - and was the least effective in his classroom as I have ever been because of his acting out.

Other teachers put him in the hall (and we are told not to do this) and taught the rest of the class. And were more effective with those students.

I believe that you play the hand you are dealt and try to do right by all of your students. In this case, I should have sacrificed Curtis for the rest of the class.

And I did try to involve his mother. She would not respond to phone calls or emails because I was the only one complaining. Right.

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