I heard some hilarious things at my school today.
This morning in my classroom, the kids were getting settled on the carpet for Opening and one boy accidentally bumped into another boy named J. Now, in the real word, J would be called “extremely rude” but in our mostly positive special ed classroom, we say he “tends to be grouchy”. This morning was no exception.
J yelled at the boy who bumped into him, “Hey!! Why did you do that?!” The other boy, a sweet, kind boy, said, “Sorry!” It didn’t matter. J continued to mutter and yell at him.
The teacher, in her kindest role model-y voice said, “J, it was an accident. He said he was sorry. You could say, ‘That’s OK, it was an accident.’”
So J said, in a loud annoyed voice, right in that sweet kid’s face, “THAT’S OK, JUST DON’T EVER DO IT AGAIN!!”
The other aide and I had to turn away so the kids wouldn’t see us smile. Because J heard the words suggested by the teacher but he just couldn’t say them. He was annoyed and angry and THOSE were the thoughts he expressed. Wouldn’t we all like to do that some days? Except we don’t because we would be called “rude” (or worse!), not “grouchy”.
Added note: It took J two more tries before he was able to say the words the teacher suggested to the boy who bumped into him. But he did it.
Later, on the playground, a boy in kindergarten handed me a large sheet of paper that said, NO RECESS. This was his teacher’s way of letting me know that the boy was not allowed to play at recess because of some crime he had committed in the classroom.
Can I just say that when kids lose their recess, it makes me a little crazy? Because, in my experience, the kids that misbehave in the classroom ? Are the kids that need their recess the most! To use up all that extra energy that probably got them in trouble in the first place. I am a big fan of consequences for bad behavior but….how about picking something else besides recess? Just a thought.
Because I think kids, even those in trouble, should have choices, I let the boy choose whether he wanted to sit in the sun or the shade, told him I would visit him while he was doing his time and went on to supervise the rest of the playground. The boy whined and complained and asked for just 5 minutes to go and play. I stayed firm and told him the bell would ring before he knew it.
Halfway through recess, he came to me and said, in a desperate voice, “Mrs. K!! I can’t take this anymore!!”
I didn’t even try to hide my smile. In fact, I laughed out loud, put my arm around him and said, “Well, I don’t blame you- I can barely take it myself!”
And then I noticed a girl, also in kindergarten, kind of crouched down on the ground, obviously in pain.
“Are you OK? What happened?”, I asked.
She said, “I was playing handball and the ball hit me in the penis.”
“In the penis?”, I repeated, thinking I must have heard wrong.
“Um, honey? You’re a girl. You don’t have a penis. Do you mean your private area?”
She nodded again.
A boy nearby heard this conversation, shook his head knowingly and said, “Yeah, that happened to me once.”
How could you ever be sad in a place like this?