Thursday, December 18, 2014
I was surprised to see John arrive for the computer animation class. I met him previously in various special ed classes, and this class seemed to me to be a little more advanced than that. Apparently I was wrong.
But, when John reacted to the rest of the class talking, I knew where it was coming from. They were distracting him, and he wanted it to be quiet.
I was kind of stuck. On the one hand, I understood John's frustration. But on the other, the rest of the class wasn't doing anything that they shouldn't. Sure, they probably didn't need to talk, but it was the sort of assignment where I usually permit the level of talking they were doing. In fact, they were quieter than what I would normally get in that situation. And more on task.
But it was too much for John. He finally lept out of his seat, pretended to flip a book shut, growled, and ran out of class.
If I hadn't met John before, I would have reacted completely differently. Because I knew him, I let him go.
A few minutes later I went to check on him. He was outside, fuming. (At least he took it outside rather than taking it out on a student. For that I applaud him.)
I let him vent at me. He told me of his frustrations with the class. I understood. Eventually he calmed enough to return to class.
It's an interesting situation. The class has excluded John, and he feels it. Which is too bad.
I, of course, left this incident in the note. Not for John to be punished. The teacher is probably already aware of the dynamic, but he should know about it anyway.
(The next day, the first thing John did on entering class was to apologize to everyone for his behavior the previous day.)