Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I don't need to tell you this but boy, kids can be so bratty sometimes. Case in point; today one of my students was in a mood. First some background info on her; she's rough and tough, a tomboy if you will. She won't wear pink or anything that can be construed as girly. Her parents are separated but mom just had a baby about a month ago. As far as I can tell they weren't that "separated" because Suzie says the baby daddy is her daddy too. Suzie needs a lot of attention and will do what she has to to get it. At the beginning of the year she would go under the table and not come out. She didn't want to be in school. During the course of the school year she and I have come to an understanding and have a trusting relationship. I've grown to love her. I swear, the tougher the kid, the harder I fall. Maybe because I spend more time with them or just know that they need the extra love.

Today she didn't want to do any work and I knew I was in for a battle when she covered her ears and made noise with her tongue as to not hear what I was saying.

After giving her many chances to listen I told her that her choice was to listen to me or see the principal. She chose the latter. While we were waiting for the principal she got blatantly disrespectful to me and another adult in the office, falling on the floor, biting herself which is a new behavior. I decided it was time to use the restraint training I learned so many years ago. Now she really angry. She told me she was going to ignore me, never speak to me again, she was quiting being 5 she was going back to being 4. I just let her ride it out. After about 10 minutes she finally relaxed and I loosened my grip. She turned to me, flung her arms around my neck and sobbed into it. Then out comes the story.

She didn't want to do her work because it was too hard and it sucked all of her energy (wonder where she heard that one). She said she wasn't smart enough to do it. I told her, "of course you're smart, you could do that if you tried". She went on to tell me that her dad says she's not smart and he calls her a punk and a dork. I asked if he was goofing around with her when he says this. "Nope, he sends me to my room and I cry." then "I'm sorry Mrs. B. I'm really sorry." comes out through the tears.

Now even though she was a brat, disrespectful and all that jazz I couldn't help but just hold her, let her cry and murmur reassuring words in her ear. I'm going to treat her the same way I treat my own children.

I wear many hats at school; educator, referee, confidant and mother. There are good days and bad days and you'd think today wasn't a good one but I consider it a success. Suzie may have had a melt down but in the end I was able to be there for her and show her that someone truly cares for her.

I love my job.