Monday, November 10, 2008

Tales From the Trenches

I *heart* my kids. They continue to make me smile, to make me glad for my job, to make me sad to know I'll soon be moving on. They make me laugh, they frustrate me, they inspire me.

Last week, one of my students had a rough end to the day. She hit another student (loud tears ensued), she calmed down, I walked her to the bus area, turned my back for just a minute to talk to a parent, and then she went after another student (not mine) who is in a wheelchair and defenseless. She got her pretty good 2x. I intervened once I realized what was going on. She sat on the ground and then went after me! I still have 4 scabs on my hand and 2 on each leg (I was wearing a skirt) to show for it! She calmed down, a parent had to come get her because we couldn't put her on the bus with the way she was acting. This was 3 days ago.

This morning, she arrived at school and immediately apologized. We started working and she then saw I was wearing slacks and said, "Oh, I'm glad you are wearing pants today. Remember how I scratched you last time?" Ummm, yes I do! I asked if she wanted to see where, and of course she did. However, she didn't really notice because her thoughts were interrupted with, "Oh, those boots are really cute." Giggle. It really just cracked me up that her thoughts seemed to be, "Thank goodness you wore pants in case I have a bad day again--that way I won't scratch your legs again."

Later today, another student went to the bathroom, came back, and was very serious. She asked me if I had any baby wipes. Of course, I don't. She said she had to poop, and it was (Held hands out far). I said, "Big?" She agreed, "Yes, it was big and I don't think I got it all. I want baby wipes so I can get clean."
We decided to go to the nurse to see if she had anything we could use, but she didn't. Deep breath. I asked her if she needed me to help clean her, and of course she said yes. (I changed diapers the first 3 years I taught--2 of those were for middle schoolers. Some were girls. Some had reached puberty. So, while not pleasant, this is something I can do). We went into a faculty bathroom. I put the gloves on. She looked at me and said, "Drop them?" I said, "Yes, drop them." Let me tell you--those are not words I ever thought I'd hear in my teaching career! She then said, "I'm sorry to have to make you help me with this." Awwww, so sweet. After all of that, her bottom was clean as clean can be! Now THAT confused her. Whew, crisis averted.

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