Remember Billy, from last year?
I see him from time to time, and say hi to him.
The other day I saw him at school. I swear he was wearing girls pants. And not just any girls pants. They were red, crushed velvet pants. And they were too high, as well, to show off his big, black, clod-hoppper shoes. He looked horrendous, the poor guy! One of the teachers said that she loved them and wanted to pet them. Billy said, “Teacher, you sure are a lot nicer than my classmates.”
I talked to his teacher. I guess everyone, not just his class, was giving him a hard time for them. She should have sent him home. What were his parents thinking?
I had two students enter the talent show. Billy was going to sing a High School Musical song (you remember Billy?) and “Mario” was going to sing a different song. Well, Billy isn’t known for following through on things. When he first tried out, Billy was going to play guitar and sing with his friend “Andy” and “Shupac”, who was going to learn the violin the night before. Needless to say, THAT didn’t happen.
Fast forward to today. Mario forgot to bring his music for the show. He has been talking about this for weeks, even asking if he could sing the song in front of our class sans music. He was definately the stronger of the two students, singing wise. Billy has been looking forward to the event as well, and even remembered to bring his CD.
Billy was the third act up. He got out on stage, the music started, and he actually sang! It wasn’t great, but he was doing it. But then. . . he forgot the words. The music kept playing, but he wasn’t singing. You could see him thinking about the words, keeping the beat with his head bouncing up and down slightly, his eyes looking up, trying to look into his brain for the words. But he just couldn’t find them.
But to his credit, he kept his composure. He didn’t run off stage crying. He stayed up there, trying to get back into it. A couple of times he even put the mic back up to his mouth, only to pull it back down. The teacher in charge finally pulled the music down. The school gave Billy a round of applause. They were really nice.
Billy walked off stage back to where the performers were sitting. The principal and I went over to him. He seemed alright. A bit disappointed, like he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t think of the words. I congratulated him for going up there in the first place. I was really proud of him for trying, and for the first time actually wanted to give him a hug.
We had a retirement party for my principal today after school. There were a lot of people there, and it was good to see friends I haven’t seen for a while. The video was good, so was the cake.
The last week of school is usually a very good week of school. And this year seems to be going the same way. There are some papers I still need to turn in to my principal, and I had to come in early to finish my cums and my report cards, but for the most part it appears it will be a good week. We have the talent show on Tuesday, staff v. students kickball game Wednesday morning, shortened day Wednesday (like always), and minimum day on Friday. Yep, it looks like it’s going to be a good week.
Once again Billy isn’t medicated today. I could tell right away. I asked him about it, he said he had taken both pills (trust me, it matters if he takes only one, or even if he takes three!). But a few minutes later I asked him again and he said he hadn’t taken them. Something about being rushed.
We were going to take the benchmark writing test today, and I knew there would be no way he could do it well. I sent him to his RSP teacher’s room to do some work with her, (thank you, “Mr. Clark”!) while the rest of the class took the test. Before he left, he had already spilled water on his desk and chair, and had 4 pencils scattered under his desk, as well as parts of a crayon box beneath his chair. All after only 15 minutes of school.
After recess he showed me how many pencils he bought during recess, seven. That seemed like more than enough. I asked him where he got the money. He told me he got the money from home, then proceeded to pull out a hand full of new state quarters. $4.50 in quarters. Some had some blue paper glued to the back of them. It looked suspicious. I called mom. Apparently he took the quarters from his aunt’s quarter collection. Oopsie. I sent the pencils and the money down in an envelop so mom and aunt could come down to school and pick them up. I told Billy I would be very, very sad if my nephew stole from me.
You remember Timmy? Well, let me introduce you to “Jimmy.” Jimmy is a “special needs” student of mine. If you met him, you might not pick up on that. You might think he’s a little odd, but that’s about it. If you spent time with him, you might guess he has some special needs. But he is very, very normal.
Jimmy has many friends, and even a few good friends. But the problem is, Jimmy plays with a group of boys who often end up not getting along. Timmy is one of those boys. So is Billy.
Well, yesterday, apparently Jimmy was sick and tired of Billy being so bossy. And Billy was tired of Jimmy making the group only do what he wanted to do. The playground supervisors let me know that there is trouble again with these to. (Yes, there has been trouble between them before, but they always manage to bury the hatchet and play together.)
These guys just can’t seem to get along with each other for too long. Maybe they should be in different classes next year.
Gold Rush is coming up in a couple of days. Each fourth grade class is asking its students to bring something to eat or drink for the rest of the grade level. My class is in charge of bringing root beer. That’s easy, right? 2 two leter bottles each. 1 if that’s all you can do. Well, after about a week of asking, I’ve had about 5 students bring some in.
Billy tells me that mom said they don’t have the money for it. Hmmmm. I have a hard time with this. Am I wrong? I explain to him that he and mom can go down to the dollar store or find it on sale somewhere and buy 1 bottle for a buck. She can do that, I tell Billy. Today Billy comes in and lets me know that while he and mom were shopping, he reminded her, and she let him know that they couldn’t afford it.
Is it me, or couldn’t she just not buy so many Twinkies (see below) for a week and spring for some root beer for Billy’s class? Way to support school, mom! Thanks.
A lunch supervisor came up to me the other day to let me know she had a look in billy’s lunch. Among other things, she found a Ding-Dong and 2 Twinkies. She asked Billy if he could just eat one and take the other 2 home. Good call.
Billy had a talk with another fourth grade teacher. We’ll call her “Kelly.” Billy told Kelly that his mom is trying to help him gain weight, hence the 3 Hostess snack goodies. Kelly tried to give him a quick lesson on nutrition, but I’m sure it went in one ear and out the other. Kelly knows this. You just have to try.
I have another student in my class. We’ll call him “Timmy.” Between Billy and Timmy, my year has been . . . challenging at times. Timmy is a very nice boy. He’s also well below grade level, and his dad speaks very broken English. I think his mom speaks only Spanish. So you can guess Timmy’s English isn’t the best.
As I was letting my class get drinks in the classroom (we had just come back from “Gold Rush” practice), I noticed Timmy lingering at the drinking fountain. I told him that his table had already got a drink and that he needs to sit down, but he just kept drinking, for like 5 more seconds! I was furious!
Now, I didn’t realize this, but Timmy’s table had just been called to get a drink. And Timmy was the last person at his table to get a drink. So technically, I was wrong. He had permission to get a drink. So I felt bad about asking him to sit down. But the fact remained that I had given him directions and he ignored me. You just can’t do that. If I ask you to sit down and you are still haven’t had a chance to get a drink yet, stop drinking and explain to me that you haven’t had a chance. Don’t ignore me.
I think it’s hard when I make a mistake, but the student does as well. I always try to make sure I admit my mistakes to the class. It’s sometimes embarrassing, and sometimes I feel really bad about the mistakes I have made. There’s nothing worse than punishing a student, and then after the punishment finding out I was wrong and the student was innocent. That sucks!
But even when I am wrong, if the student has not followed directions, the student needs to face a consequence for that decision.
Remember Billy and the discipline notice he got on Tuesday? Well, Billy is supposed to get the notice signed by his parents and return it the next day. But he didn’t. Today he brings it in, but it’s signed. . . in pencil . . . with no capital letters. Hmmmm, do I look stupid? I think his mom’s name is even spelled wrong. Billy, Billy, Billy. Now I have to call mom, and not only tell her that Billy received a discipline not 2 days ago, but that he tried to forge his mother’s signature and turn it in. Mom is not going to be happy.
I give Billy the choice; I can call mom right now in class and tell her, or he can. I figure he would much rather have me tell mom, but he does the bigger thing and decides that he will tell her. That takes guts! It turns out mom wasn’t happy, and seemed very supportive when I got on the phone with her after her and Billy talked. She assured me Billy would be punished at home for what he did. It’s nice to know some students get real consequences at home for bad choices they make at school. For a lot of students, missing a recess for bad behavior is something they have learned to live with and accept it as the price to pay.
Billy is one of the 2 or three white kids I have in class. Its doesn’t really matter, just letting you know. He is also on medication. Billy isn’t really his name, but we’ll call him Billy. On Billy’s first day of school this year, his grandfather met me before I brought the class in and let me know that Billy is diagnosed ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). Then Billy’s grandfather tells me that Billy is not on medication. They ran out. He won’t have medication for a couple weeks. That was bad.
It turned out Billy could not learn without his medication. Literally. Billy was all over the place. It would have almost been funny if it had not been so frustrating. I have never seen anything like it. Let’s just say it was a tough two weeks.
Once Billy got back on meds, he wasn’t too bad. He was still a bit more difficult than the average student, but nothing like he was off his meds. Every once in a while, Billy is off his meds for some reason or another. He might as well not even come. Seriously.
Billy came to school today on half his medication. I’ll spare you the explanation. But he let me know he only took one of the two pills he was supposed to be on. Let me just say, it was obvious something was up with Billy. His whole look was off. I told the psychiatrist about it, and she said she could. His whole disheveled look gave it away.
It was a tough day. Before school started he had already choked a boy and earned a discipline notice. Before recess, he had already gone to the bathroom and sprayed water all over another student and all over the floor. So Bill gets to spend both recesses in the office for the rest of the week.
Bill spent some time out of my classroom today, because of his behavior. At times, he just couldn’t focus enough to get work done. So at that point I had him have a seat in another classroom. Other tricks are to have him carry heavy things to other classrooms. Apparently that helps him be more self-aware, physically.
It’s funny, because Billy knows exactly what’s going on. He knows why he can’t focus today. He is a very sharp boy. But he is dependent on his medication. School is a waist of time for him unless he is medicated. It’s very sad. Hopefully he can stay on his meds and be successful at school, and at home. But you should see him off!