Today was a hard day. A very hard day. The morning went okay. Not great but not bad either. It was the afternoon that did me in.
One of my students arrives in the middle of my lunch break and I eat the rest of my lunch with him. I was hoping to get him ready to earn his points but as soon as the other students returned from lunch he had difficulty controlling himself.
The other students were not very calm either. They never come back calm from lunch. I had told them we would do some dancing to a few songs on GoNoodle after lunch so I started that up.
They never fully calmed but after dancing I was able to transition them to sensory. I decided to let them use my moldable sand which they had not used in some time. The last time I let them use it a lot of it was thrown on the floor and I thought we needed a break from it.
Sensory went ok but it all started to fall apart towards the end. Fighting escalated, originally over one preferred toy. That toy was thrown across the table when I said we would share and I would set my timer. Then it was thrown back. Next thing I knew it had all dissolved into throwing toys, chasing and hitting. Chairs were thrown. Students ran from the room. Vicious words were spewed at peers. Self injurious behaviors happened. Shelves were climbed on. Toys were thrown. Papers were messed up or torn. Seven adults were eventually in my room for 8 students.
I worked with one student for most of the afternoon as he kicked and hit me, ran from me, attempted to push over large shelves, told me I was mean, that he hated school, that I wanted to hurt him…I spent what felt like hours but was only about an hour with him, absorbing all of that energy, trying to breathe with him, stay with him, let him know we care for him and want him there…
The afternoon was a struggle right up until we got the last student on the bus and the door closed.
And then I cried. In the assistant principal’s office. During a meeting with two colleagues and the principal. And I was told I should really be doing the point and level system as was taught to me at the beginning of the year. I was also told a lot of supportive and kind things but I guess I was a little frustrated to hear that it was thought I was making a mistake by not incorporating the levels into our day.
After the hour and 45 minute meeting I left with some major changes to mull over and went back to my room to clean it.
Part of me feels like the possible solution we came to in the meeting means that people don’t believe I can lead this class. That I need help. And this hurts me so deeply. And maybe that’s just my pride. Maybe the plan would actually be highly successful not because I’m not doing a good job but because I have something to offer that another teacher needs and she has something to offer that I need. And what is more important? My pride or the education of my students.
Still, it feels like a punch to the gut.