Tonight was Back-to-School night, when all the parents could come with their kids to see the classroom, meet the teacher, go to a presentation about our school's "incentives" program, and get some free pizza. Of the 15 students in my class, 12 came with their parents, which was a great turnout! The students had created maps of their classroom, acrostic poems for the walls outside the room, and their illustrated "hopes and dreams" to adorn the inside walls of our classroom. I also set out a small light bulb, battery, and copper wire, which the students had just used yesterday for a science experiment. They were all so eager to show their parents how they could make the bulb light up! I loved seeing that. I also had another teacher walk over to my room and say, "Oh, so you're the teacher who did the light bulb thing. I heard some kids talking about that." Yeah! That's exciting. Hopefully that's a good thing. I'm taking it as a good thing that they were talking about it. :)
I also sent home my first "behavior plan" after a student kicked another student. While it was not a hard kick, and the kid probably deserved it, it was time to write a plan. What irritated me the most, though, was when I pulled the student aside to talk about what happened, and she refused to answer any of my questions. I was going to try and help her out but when she didn't talk--makes it difficult! I sent home the plan to be signed by a parent. I was a little nervous when I saw her walking down the hall at Back-to-School night--alongside her mother, father (a very large, scary man), grandmother, two older sisters, and younger brother. The seven of them made their way into my room as the mom began with "I saw that plan you sent home with __ today. I talked to her about it. We've taught her that it's ok to kick to defend herself [understandable in these neighborhoods] and take care of herself, but I don't think that was the case here [nope, it wasn't]. I know there's always 2 sides to a story, but I told her anyways that she did not need to kick anyone at school." At that point, I felt a bit like the mom thought I had taken up against her daughter's side. Determined not to be walked all over, I stated (with my heart pounding), "Well, I understand that. But when I pulled ____ aside to find out about what happened, she refused to answer any of my questions. I was trying to find out that other side but I need her to talk to me when I ask questions." Big breath out . . . I had no idea how she would respond. "Oh." She said, as she looked at her daughter. "We've had this problem before. You have to talk to your teachers, ___! They are trying to help you out." Yes! Mom understood what I was saying. I can't lie . . . I was proud of myself for speaking up when I was really nervous to do so. Small victory, yay!
I have never, ever in my life, been so ready for Labor Day weekend.
From the straightened-up-for-parent-night desk of,