Year: 1996-1997
Month: September
Leader: Group E

Situation/Case Study:

I have a first grader who runs from the room when he gets upset. Should I leave the room to chase him? He is also on ADD medications and our classroom is interrupted twice a day with a phone call for him to come take his medications. The first time he ran from my first grade room was the third day of school. I didn't know where he went. Did he go outside of the building and out by the highway? I didn't know if I should leave my room to chase him. I decided to call a paraprofessional and she and the principal and several janitors went looking for him. The boy tells me his parents are divorcing. He lives three days with Mom and then three days with Dad. He is in before school daycare from 6am and after school goes to daycare until 6pm. On days when he is switching from Mom to Dad he brings a big duffel bag to school. This boy is also being treated for ADD and gets medications twice a day. The nurse calls my room on the phone and interrupts what we are doing. The other kids already know what the phone call is for and laugh or make comments. This boy is very angry and we sometimes have to send him to a special table we have set up where he can just color for a while to cool down. He draws monster pictures and then says, "This is me" (the kid). He's eager to volunteer so I call on him for help a lot; more than the other kids. But he behaves better when he is kept busy. He misbehaves a lot and it disrupts the class. He says he’s tired a lot. I wonder if it is his long days, or his medicine. I wonder if he is acting up to get the attention he doesn't seem to get at home. I talked to the class one day when he wasn't there and told them that they must not tease him when he gets upset or is called for on the phone. I've talked to the social worker and some special testing is being considered. The mom says the dad doesn't help him keep a routine and that she is stricter with him. I don't want to get into the family problems, which I can't do anything about.
The teacher feels frustrated because here it is his first week and he's already under the microscope. He wants it to go smooth. He wants all the kids to be happy. He thinks the teacher is not doing his job right unless all the kids are happy. You think you can't give up you have to save them all. The teacher feels frustrated because the student needs an interim support system to feel safe. His current world is out of control. The parents don't seem to be helping. The teacher feels frustrated because intercessions for one kid are misinterpreted by the kid who thinks you want conformity from him. The teacher feels frustrated because the rights of other students are suffering while a majority of teacher time is spent on one student's needs. The teacher feels frustrated because the teacher brings this home with him every day. He feels responsible to fix everything. Teacher feels stressed wondering what kind of attitude the kid will show up at school with today. And the teacher is stressed about over stepping the
boundaries of parents' rights. The teacher feels frustrated trying to empower the parents who don't have the child as their top priority. The teacher feels frustrated wondering how to sort out the kids warning signs when he is about to get angry and in helping the student to understand when he is getting out of control. The teacher feels frustrated by this powerful child who is taking his power to control the classroom and be able to focus on other students. The teacher feels frustrated that there isn't more of a partnership around this situation. Why am I the only one who seems to be teaching respect and manners? Is this all left as only my job to do?