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Yesterday one of my 4th grade students was cutting herself with a thumbtack because her mother and mother's boyfriend were fighting and the boyfriend hit the mother in front of the girl. This mother has been in and out of jail, so grandmother has custody, but mom had the girl for the weekend. What I want to know is why she even thought about cutting herself. Where would a nine year old get that idea?

My Problem Child cracked me up yesterday. He'd watched the ice dancing, and the Russians who were danced as an aboriginal pair--he called them the gingerbread people. LOLOLOL.

He's got something going on, maybe a food allergy or something. The mornings are okay, but the afternoons are MISERABLE. He does not stop talking/making noise. At all. No matter what. He's a coke baby, also being raised by grandparents who are too tired to really take care of him so let him run wild. I learned last week that he's actually a pretty good little leader, and asked the counselor to help me find something that will utilize this trait. Also, it will be something to hold over his head, since, as he's realized, my hands are tied. Whatever he does has no consequences.

I dreamed last night that a former parent (I've taught all of her kids and the oldest came to visit me a couple of months ago) came back to thank me, and had a special prayer said for me.

Meeting today, 2 meetings tomorrow, and 5th grade is going to "give us a song" and we have to work out a routine by Friday. Um, when? I'm so not a last minute person.



Kelly Boyce said...

Your son sounds like my soon to be stepson. He's six and he never shuts up! I swear on the days we have him, I'm reaching for the duct tape. Sigh...I remember when my house was a quiet little sanctuary...

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

That poor girl. My understanding of the cutting phenomenon is very basic and not at all "official," but I think it's not a fully conscious act. She somehow discovered either that hurting herself physically dulls the emotional pain, or that damage brings attention. Though it's also possible she has older (negative) role models where she actually witnessed them doing it.

Hearing things like this make me both really glad I'm not a teacher, and even more admiring and respectful of those of you who are.

MJFredrick said...

KELLY!!!!! Soon-to-be????? CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

But yeah, I could spend a fortune on duct tape. Today for about 20 minutes before lunch, he just made weird noises. And he would NOT stay in his seat today.

Natalie, I thought the same, that she'd seen someone do it. I need to talk to her more. Today she said, "They sting" about her cuts. I'm like, "Well, YEAH."

But today was a better day.

Mary Curry said...

Mary, my heart breaks reading this. I'm lucky this year in that most of my students come from fairly stable backgrounds. That allows me to give more attention to the one or two who have it harder (though not so bad as your two).

Good luck. Today was our hundredth day of school so I know that means you're that much closer to summer.

MJFredrick said...

Our hundredth day was Feb. 3, so not that far back.

I have to think out loud about my kids now and then to remind me why I'm a teacher.


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