Today I had a kid walk out of my classroom without permission. He was staying for a required tutoring session after school, and since parents had been notified we aren’t allowed to let the kids leave before the hour ends. This kid was fuming mad about the tutoring because he was missing football practice and was terrified of being kicked off the team. He was crying nonstop (see my last post!) and was unable to control his frustration. Finally, after about 40 minutes of me trying every strategy in the book to get him to calm down, stay, and work, he couldn’t take it anymore. He slowly packed up his stuff, while watching me and crying, and I could see in his eyes that he was terrified to leave but determined to do it anyway. He ignored my requests and then my commands to not leave the classroom, and walked right out.
I got my dean to intercept him, and the second time he tried to walk out of the classroom I succeeded in making him stay for the last five minutes, but that’s not the point. The point is that I work at this sweet school with incredible kids who are wonderfully behaved all the time, and I have a kid walk out on me?! Maybe I have the worst classroom management on the entire planet. In my two years at my old school, I did have three kids total walk out of my classroom, but those were such extreme students they were practically caricatures of what to worry about in a classroom. Them walking out was all in good context and I was usually beaming with pride that no one had been hurt. And then here I am, getting punked by an 11-year-old? Have I completely lost my touch already?
Then I come to learn that this is actually the most self-control this kid has ever exercised when he was so frustrated. Earlier in the year, he threw a screeching, stomping, crying tantrum when he had to miss football. Last year, as a fifth grader, he beat up an adult and locked him in a closet. Wait, do you want to read that sentence again? Here it is: Last year, as a fifth grader, he beat up an adult and locked him in a closet. I’m now going to count my blessings… my day could have been worse than a walk-out.
I didn’t know such little kids had it in them. Maybe these charter school kids really do have some skeletons in their closets. (Ha. Get it?)