This week, whenever someone asks me how it’s been, the answer is always “it’s been three months long”. Because honestly, that’s about as long as it feels!
Monday started off normal. We had the extra adult in the room for our new student. We go to the bathroom as a class at 9:20, new student was being silly and didn’t get a token. They cried and wouldn’t come back to class. The adult got them calmed and joined us outside during gym for literally the last minute of outside time. On the way in, the new student didn’t want to carry their coat and a struggle appeared with the adult help that was in the room. The class waited but other adults inside the building also saw the struggle and two ran out to help thinking that the student and adult were alone. One of those adults was assigned to the class for the day just to take data on the new student. We have clinical forms that we fill out whenever something like this happens so adult #2 for the new student was just to carry the clipboard and fill it out.
And then it was going well until about 10:50. That’s when the reading groups change. I always give lots of warnings, and the adult for the new student gave lots of warnings as well. But the new student was playing with their lego and when it was time to switch activities, the new student decided they didn’t want to stop with their legos just yet. So there was a LOT of crying. I walked over and asked what was wrong, and the adult told me and I was like “no, you have been given all your warnings, asked to clean up early, and you are still not listening. You are done with the legos, let’s go” and the adult and I started to put away the lego. Well, the new student just lost it. There was SCREAMING and crying and fighting the adults. Adult #2 took the bag of lego out of the class and then the student tried to run out after it. I closed the door and the new student was scratching at my hand trying to open the door. Adult #2 was on the other side using their body to keep it closed as well. The student was trying to pry my fingers off the door handle, hanging their entire body off my arm, using their feet to push against the door frame. Anything to get these legos. I asked the EA in my class “what do I do now?” I had a group waiting at our instructional table for their lesson, a co-op student trying to keep the other student focused on their work, the EA trying to keep their student from getting too agitated by the violence at the door. My EA came over and said they would take over for me. I protested because they are being paid to work with one student specifically. And once the EA came over, and the new student pushed the EA, the EA’s student yelled NO and tried to come and protect the EA.
So now there are 4 adults at the door with one student.
Then a therapist comes down the hall, because this student is literally screaming and yelling so loud the entire floor can hear them. At this point, I am at the teaching table but my group isn’t focused at all and then I see there are safety mats being brought into the classroom. The new student doesn’t have a behaviour safety plan in place yet so we legally can’t do much except keep everyone safe. I had to step in at that point. New Student was flipping desks over, pushing chairs, pulling all the items off the shelves and throwing things. My co-op student safely got the two students at the front of the room into the back behind the wall partition. I gave the co-op student my bucket of tokens, and some colouring pages and said “give them tokens, let them colour and read” No learning was happening.
Now there are 5 adults in a circle around this new student with safety mats to keep ourselves safe as the student is kicking and punching and trying to climb over the mats and purposely spitting on their hands and wiping it on the adults. They are so worked up they are coughing and hyperventilating and almost starting to choke on their own spit. FINALLY after 30 minutes of this, the student is calm enough to sit on a chair for 10 seconds because they have requested to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom there is banging on doors, slamming, they want one specific stall which is locked. No one is inside but it’s locked.
Then it’s recess. I get the class righted and then the students outside with my EA. The other adults are with the new student. During recess, the new student notices that the back wall of a storage shed is loose. They push it and go inside. We get them out but it’s time to go back for lunch.
The afternoon has a few minor meltdowns.
And that was just Monday. Our health and safety guy was out for the day. WHAT a day to be away.
But I was able to get my brother’s Christmas gift. I had to have it special ordered from the states, but a store here took care of that for me. YAY.
Tuesday the morning was generally ok, a meltdown in the afternoon. A different student bit an adult out of anger but that is normal behaviour and we are all trained to expect it at certain times. They calm down very quickly. The adult has a bruise (probably because I pulled their arm to try to remove it from the child’s mouth when you’re supposed to push into a bite…).
Wednesday we had no extra adult in the morning for new student. BUT the morning went ok! I got bit at lunch on my shoulder. Not out of aggression, there is no mark, there is no reason why, it just happened. My arm hurt for about an hour and that was it. Another meltdown at the end of the day with the new student who purposely pushed an adult.
Then Thursday. Oh, Remembrance Day. We had a speaker on Zoom come for my class. A Lieutenant Colonel. He knew the exceptionalities in my class and was so great preparing for his half-hour with us! The other teachers asked if they could join, we tried to get the MacBook to cast onto the TV in one of the bigger classes but it didn’t work. But guess what! ALL the students were in that class and ALL of them sat and listened quietly and so well! And all they had was a small MacBook screen and speakers to watch and listen to!!! Oh my gosh, it was great! SOOOOO good!!!! My class also made holiday cards for soldiers, as I do every year, and I mailed them off Friday afternoon.
Friday was a PD Day. The students stayed home, and the teachers had to be at work. Not the EA’s. I had parent/teacher conferences until noon and then was expected to work in my class for the day. I bought myself a coffee on the way in as a treat, and also brought my slippers to run around in all day. It was pouring when I arrived so it was a nice change from rainboots to slippers. A few of the other adults laughed when they realized what I was wearing but I don’t care! I was comfortable!! I was able to get a few things done that can’t get done while students are there and I left at 3.
So really this week has been SUCH a week. I am glad it’s the weekend and I can relax and sleep and do my nails and just not have a care in the world.