Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Bribe


It was one of those special ed classes--you know, the ones where the middle school age kiddos can't read. Their summer program is a three-hour day where they do a little reading, a little math, and they paint paper towel rolls to make rainsticks out of them.

There's always that one student who we have to keep an eye on. For this group, her name was Sophie.

Sophie did what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. One of the instructional aides, Ms. R, called her "princess". (Well, she was "princess" behind her back. To her face, Ms. R called her "mija".)

Sophie liked to hit. She would also run. (She only ran once this day.) But for the most part, we got through the day with few issues.

Until clean up time.

Everyone else in class had packed up. They sat in their seats, waiting patiently to be dismissed.

Sophie decided she wanted to explore the teacher's desk. She had to touch everything, including the expensive electronic tools like the document camera and the copier. And it was less of a touch and more of a pounding...

Nothing any of us did could get her to leave the teacher's desk and go back to hers.

So, Ms. R decided to try another tactic.

"Everyone who's sitting at their desks gets chips."

Ms. R grabbed a bag of chips and gave everyone else a handful. The other kiddos got down to munching. Sophie appeared not to care, but she left the teacher's desk and went to sit at hers. For a bit.

Victory. For a moment.

(Sophie wouldn't leave the room at dismissal time. The only reason she's not still there is because one of the instructional assistants went to the parking lot and had her mother come in and take her out.)

18 comments:

  1. I'm exhausted just picturing this scenario. ~sigh~ I wonder what kind of life she will have as she ages. Be well!

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    1. Having covered the adult transition center, I've seen how they mature. I have a feeling that she'll grow out of this and be a fairly reasonable adult. Now, adulthood is still a good six years away...

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    2. Ooh. Six years is a long time, especially for the parents. ~cringe~ And speaking of cringe worthy, I thought of you when I shared that awful pun, remembering how you feel about them. ~grin~ I'm bad. I know it. Be well!

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  2. She seems like a handful! I'm sure the mother appreciates the 3 hours of respite she has!

    betty

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  3. I've often thought about how difficult it must be for teachers to deal with "princesses" with their hands tied regarding discipline issues. Long ago I had a princess when I was doing in-home-daycare. This girl liked to bite the other kids. I would have to call her parents to come and pick her up. After 3 incidents, I told them she couldn't return. She actually bit her own aunt when she came to get her. Still, the parents thought I wasn't being fair and reported me to the licencing board. They came and did a surprise visit, clearing me. Still, it really shook me up. Even if a day care provider is cleared, the report stays on their public record. Within months I closed up shop. There was such a feeling of being betrayed. I had been caring for their princess and they tried to smear my reputation. Well, I have enough to do keeping my own kids in line. God bless you teachers!

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    1. I am so sorry that happened to you. Some parents have no concept of how their child behaves outside their influence.

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  4. That must be really frustrating. Can't discipline like you normally would.

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  5. Sounds like somebody's a bit defiant. You need patience for dealing with kids like that.

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  6. I hope the adults involved in her IEP are helping her sort whatever needs to get dealt.

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  7. I bet you were exhausted at the end of that!

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  8. It is very hard when you have a child like that in your class but I guess they can't help it and you just have to have the patience of a saint... which I suspect you do!

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    1. Nah, I have no patience at all. In a class like this one, they're all a bit like Sophie. It's the nature of the business.

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  9. Without being able to physically remove a child's hand from the expensive object, how is one to stop the bad behavior? Were you at least able to stop any damage?

    Oy. I wouldn't wish for that situation.

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    1. While I couldn't intervene like that, the aides who know her and are trained for such situations could and did remove her hands from things. She was faster.

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  10. ARGH. I feel for you. She sounds like a pain in the butt.

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    1. She was, but not more so than some I've had in classes like that.

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