Monday, December 12, 2005

We miss you Ms. V

On a day like today, when one of the teachers in our room is absent, there is certainly potential for chaos and complaining! With fewer grownups available to meet the needs of these neediest kids, it’s sure to be an EXCEDRIN HEADACHE #14 kind of day.

Moreover, with less adult attention at the ready, academics often take a backseat to behavior management.

But today, despite missing Ms. V, the kids managed well, and we, the two other adults, were busy but not bonkers. The reasons, I am convinced, are the time and attention we have put into establishing and maintaining our classroom rules and routines. Despite the stark change left by an absent and well loved teacher, the kids (for the most part) were able to hold onto the security of our schedule, the consistency of our behavior support program, and the reliability of those teachers who were present.

There were glitches in the day. Right from the start, one of the girls complained of a sore throat and headache, but because of the absence of fever, no call home could be made. She spent much of the day on the bean bag, restless, whining, and generally uncooperative. (Poor thing, by the very end of the day her fever finally spiked… but too late for an early pickup.)

Our crisis counselor was absent too, (tis’ the season), and her sub isn’t a group favorite. Another change during a day of too much change….

Another one of our sweet things arrived at school all bluster and “bad-ass”. One on one required.

Our autistic student withdrew into a quiet, isolating shell. Although it made for an easier morning, it’s not best practice to let it go. We did let it go because of our staffing shortage. The good news is that we caught him up with his morning assignments by lunchtime.

Still, I choose to concentrate on the good stuff:

Lots of hugs!
Our littlest “pistol” actually went to the cafeteria with the group and behaved well!! A true accomplishment.
At least 2 tantrums appeared to be headed off…. These kids responded to our cueing and emotional supports so that they TALKED rather than exploded.

Yep,good stuff. But I sure will be glad to see Ms. V. tomorrow morn!

1 comment:

Fred said...

Well done. Obviously, the structure you've set up for them works well.