November 17, 2022- I am honest; I would have preferred to stay at Home Base and rest. The issue is, though, that other people on the crew are very sick. Those who have a gift of mindfulness. and a level of health that is above walking wounded status, needed to be on deck today. There will be a reserve group covering for me and another regular paraprofessional, tomorrow, when I have a regular meeting in the morning and teammate has a family event.
The children, whether sick or not, are here. This is not just true of high maintenance or difficult to manage children. Parents have their own schedules and the kids themselves don’t want to stay home. That speaks well of the school as a whole, and of the program in which I am presently working, even in the throes of rebuilding.
Kids have always been devious at times, unruly at other times and appreciative, tender-hearted at still other times. Perhaps this is all part of learning which path is the right one. In any case, it is always best to take the worst behaviours impersonally, though certainly an aspect of that learning is being called to account for transgressions!
One child, given a basketball, shot a few baskets and then decided to let the ball roll down, across the parking lot and into the small clump of trees. Once the ball rolled to a stop at the fence that separates the property from a mobile home park, he decided he had seen what we wanted to see and came back to where I was waiting, with one of his classmates. This time, he figured it was a good idea to go back inside. Indeed it was!
We have come far, from the bad old teacher days of corporal punishment; from the bad old administrator days of using two Behaviour Modification Programs that conflict with one another and the bad old student & parent days of claiming that “just about anything goes” is enshrined in the First Amendment. There are still vestiges of each of these miserable philosophies, but they have lost cachet here. A student who throws a meal tray will face parent or grandparent, at days end-and there are, thankfully, no defensive parents in this group. They expect the children to follow instruction.
Misbehaviour is impersonal, usually, vis-a-vis the victims. These kids are impulsive and in-the-moment. So, we go on, looking for clues as to the hook behind misbehaviour.