“I hate that rule!” he yelled, arms folded and face scrunched up. “That’s stupid and everyone is trying to get me in trouble!”
I listened and nodded, motioning for him to follow me. This first grader struggles.
At the beginning of the year, the outbursts happened several times during the day and there was no relationship. Today, he was mad but willing. He yelled, but know I understand. Fewer words needed to be spoken at this moment, but much was being thought. What happened this time? What does he really mean? How can we get him calmed down and back to class? How can he understand school is about everybody, not just him? What happened last night? How can I help him detach the two?
He walked with feet stomping and a kick or two on the lockers. Frustrated. Time never goes quickly in these situations. It seemed to take forever to get to my room, but at least he was walking. We’ve been through this before.
Thirty minutes later, tears, Kleenex, more yelling, more crying, head down. Quiet. Time. Face calm. We talked. I listened. He understood. Apology ready, we headed back. Quick hug and he went settled in to his desk.
I’m a reading interventionist. I teach kids to recognize sounds and how those sounds create words. That process takes time and is rewarding.
I’m a teacher. I teach kids to get along, follow rules, apologize. I’m safe. I parent. I smile. I care.
Tomorrow, he may melt down again. But he may laugh and read and sneak a quick hug. That process takes time and is definitely rewarding.