November 1, 2022- The tall, curly-haired boy came in the classroom, for the second time today, perhaps in a state of momentary confusion. Schedules are changing, seemingly willy-nilly in some instances, and the Special Needs children are particularly placed in confusing situations. He spent extra time with me, this morning, on his friend’s recommendation. The afternoon time slot was his regular time in the room, but seeing the work would pretty much be the same as earlier, he left to get some Math instruction.
Though our area has been able to find teachers, sometimes only after a brief period of skeletal staffing, there remains a climate of tentativeness. This does seep through to the children, who need to be reassured-by substitutes like me, that their regular teacher IS coming back tomorrow. They have seen far too much disruption, in these past 2 1/2 years. Once they realize that order is being maintained, the anxiety lowers from the roof, and a fair amount of work gets done.
I have long had a special place in my heart for the roughnecks and the hard-to-reach. It usually takes a day or two, sometimes a week, to gain their trust. Sometimes, the hurt is too deep and I don’t get very far along, and external circumstances keep any meaningful relationship at bay.
There are those who get characterized, still, as “wild weeds”. I remind myself, and any who will listen, that plants called weeds tend to have medicinal value. It is useful to work on the strengths of the child, while curing the flaws. Re-framing people as having Special Gifts makes more sense to me,