There are two boys in my class who know each other from last year and are giving me a run for my money.
Let’s call them Max (as in Where the Wild Things Are) and David (as in No, David!). Max has a face like an angel and also likes to screech. David is really smart and sweet, and cannot stop hitting other children. Max loves school, and he loves to wrestle and punch. David is either following directions perfectly, or he is interrupting me constantly and hitting each child he sees.
Both boys have been in time out already, and Max has already had to miss recess!
The tricky thing is that my new special ed teacher (Miss Nelson, let’s call her, as in Miss Nelson is Missing) — who replaces Ali, who has gone on to her own preK classroom — is terrific, but she and I don’t share a long working relationship. I don’t know what she thinks of me and how I’m handling my two little miscreants. I definitely need her help, so I think I’m going to call her this weekend and ask for her advice, and let her talk about what she thinks we should do.
The other tricky thing is I still don’t have an assistant teacher to replace Jan, so when my young volunteer and I took the class outside, Miss Nelson was inside with a screaming Max (who could NOT BELIEVE I was not allowing him to have recess after kicking one kid in the stomach and punching a little girl in the face), and I was more or less on my own with David, who had to take two time-outs on the playground, and Leo (Leo the Late Bloomer) who totally melted down yesterday when it was time to stop playing pirates and go in to get our backpacks and head for the buses.
The volunteer was very helpful, and Leo didn’t mind getting on the bus today. (I grabbed his hand before I blew my whistle to line the kids up, and said, “Let’s go look for pirates!” which seemed to help.)
All the kids who don’t speak English are doing really well, at least. One of them cried yesterday, but he LOVED it when we sang “Happy Birthday” to him in both English and Spanish today, and another one did fine yesterday but was sobbing during gym class today. She accepted my hug as comfort, however, and she made it through the rest of the morning just fine. One little boy seems really puzzled as to why I want him to sit still and keep his legs folded in the meeting area — I’m guessing I’m his first teacher ever. Poor kid, I must seem like this strict, strange lady who speaks in gibberish and won’t let him just do whatever he wants.
We opened up art yesterday, and then today we opened up the sand table. Whoops, not too much sand in there. I need to find some, stat! Ferdinand (Ferdinand the Bull) — who was in my class last year and is repeating, to give him more time to learn English so we can better understand his special needs — was really confused why everything wasn’t open, the way he remembers it. He keeps pointing at the blocks and the house corner and our centers time chart — come on, teacher, remember how we’re supposed to do centers time?!
I can’t wait until we’ve finally learned all the routines and are on our regular schedule.
And I really hope I can figure out how to get Max and David to stop hitting.