Saturday, October 8, 2011

Biters, Quintuplets, and Stress, OH MY!

A lot has happened in the past month!  I am still loving my students more and more every day!  I am up to 18 students and will have my 19th on Monday.  My kiddos are getting better and better at following the rules, and they basically know the daily routine.  Going from kindergarten to pre-k has been a difficult adjustment, but it's getting easier.

In pre-k there is a lot of tattling, pushing, hitting, kicking, spitting, talking, and all around selfishness.  I hear a lot of "I'm not your friend anymore," and "He's being mean," and "I'm telling on you!"  All of these things are pretty normal for a typical 4 year old.  At least once a day somebody knocks over someone else's block structure, or struggles over a desired toy.  I can handle all of those problems with ease.  What I cannot wrap my head around is biting!  YES BITING!  At 4 years old I figured most kids are out of the biting phase but as luck would have it, I have been blessed with a child who is not!  This child I am speaking about, MB, is my most challenging student.  He is usually the culprit when someone is pushed, kicked, hit, or any other number of naughty things.  One day out of the blue, MB walked up to another student and without warning BIT HIM ON THE SHOULDER!  Thank god he bit the child through the clothes because this boy had a nice quarter sized bite mark on him!  I was unsure of how I was supposed to handle this situation, but I knew I had to remove him from my classroom.  Not only was I really angry that he did that, but I also needed to get him away from my other kids.  My dilemma was that MB didn't appear to be angry or upset when he bit him and therefore I had no idea why he bit the child.  Also, I wasn't entirely sure what a developmentally appropriate punishment would be.  So, unfortunately I took him to the main office where I ran into someone in charge.  I will not disclose this person because who knows who's reading this!  The person in charge looked at me as if I was crazy and as if to say "What do you want me to do about it?"  This person didn't even think it was necessary to take the bitten child to the nurse for documentation.  I was beyond angry and took the child to the nurse anyways.  The nurse agreed that the situation was serious enough to warrant being looked at and documented.  I decided that day that I would no longer take MB to the office for behavior.

Even though I had made the decision not to take MB to the office again, my decision was not kept.  About a week after the biting incident MB was tantruming  because he didn't want to go to time out.  He had been particularly naughty that day and I had had enough.  While he was tantruming and refusing to go to time out he wrapped his little legs and arms around my right leg.  I proceeded to walk towards the time out chair when all of the sudden I felt a pain right below my butt.  I stopped and looked at him with my eyes wide and my mouth hanging opened and said " Did you just bite me?"  I could not believe he had done that!  I picked him up SO fast and marched right back down to the office.  Thankfully there was another person of authority in the office this time who takes biting very seriously and the child was removed from my room for the remainder of the school day.  Unfortunately the child was suspended which I didn't think was appropriate at all! 

I could go on and on about the biting, but to wrap it up, he had one more incident with biting a few days after the leg/butt bite and was suspended once again.  We had a meeting about his behavior and hopefully we will find a way to help him.

This post is getting longer than I anticipated, but I must write about my newest student.  He is adorable, and very active, and very sweet, and he is a quintuplet!  All five quints are boys, they have an older brother who is only 8 months older than them, and another brother several years older than them!  He has been a bit of a handful, but he is very bright and I think once he settles in, he'll be alright.

Finally, this job has been very stressful.  I have done paperwork, and trainings, and meetings and learned a new program, and I am tired!  Not to mention I don't always have the help I need.  I cannot go into more details on the last part because again, I have no idea who is reading this.  I feel like I never get through everything I have to do because I do not get a break, and I'm always being pulled for meetings, although the meetings have calmed down in the last two weeks or so.  I am also going through my evaluation this year and that is also very stressful!

On the positive side, I won a contest through Sonic (thanks to several people who spent hours typing in codes and voting for me) and I have an incubator and will be getting fertile duck eggs for my classroom!  WOOHOO!  Also thanks to the people who donated to my project before I won the contest.

I love my job and I hope I never burn out!  I have to always remember why I am there and how many children I am impacting by staying positive.

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