Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Today, for the first time since I started my new job, I came home happy.

Here are some thoughts that helped me through the day:
#1. The rules with Nathan are different than they are with other kids.
#2. Therefore my expectations for him must be different.
#3. He is unable to process accountability and reflection, so we must simply move on.
#4. Holding a grudge against him is useless.
#5. He will never give me an apology.
#6. I will not be perfect, I will do my best.
#7. I am the authority, not a negotiating buddy.

This made the day lighter. And when I have greater perspective, I am better able to see all the good at school, all the small, jolly moments that make working with kids fun. Here are a few highlights from the past two weeks:

Nathan, sitting in his cool down area, looks at the bulletin board on the wall in front of him. Letters are missing from phrases like "You are special" and "You are unique" because he has torn the letters down during his previous tirades.  He rolls his eyes and exclaims with disgust: "Well, someone has terrible spelling!"

Another day in a fit of anger, Nathan yells, "That teacher is a big, fat, liar: L...I....um....uh....L.....whatever, she's a liar and I don't have to spell it!"

During recess, I ask Nathan what's wrong. He huffs and puffs: "Do you see that girl over there? She called my second-best friend a red head?" And I say, "Doesn't your...uh...second-best friend have red hair?" He looks at me, "Well, yeah, but the way she said it was offensive!"

The teacher informed Nathan's class that they could only sharpen their pencils once during the class period because they needed to get to work. He was quick to yell, "What? NOT FAIR! That's ridiculous!" To which the teacher gently said, "Nathan, you do all of your work on a laptop. You don't use a pencil." He pouted sheepishly: "Well, I just meant it was unfair to everyone else."

Nathan in talking about Pokemon: "Yeah, Chickurita and I go way back..."