Saturday, December 20, 2008

Where Now?

I went to a meeting recently for a student who recently transferred here from another state. This elementary school student was expelled from school for bringing an airsoft gun to school. He took it out at recess and threatened to shoot students while holding it to their heads. He apparently also actually did shoot a few students. Airsoft guns are "relatively" safe and I don't think any students were actually injured. A few days after this the student's parent was incarcerated - I don't know for what - and the other parent, who lives in our district, gained emergency custody.
This parent enrolls the student at the local elementary school without saying anything about what's happened until the student's first day. On that day, the parent requested a meeting with the principal to inform him of the situation. So now the student is being tutored outside of school pending a safety screening to determine if it's safe for him to attend school.
In this meeting I kept thinking, "Where now?" for this kid. He needs some immediate mental health service and removal from his previous environment may be life altering and I hope it is. It's terrifying to think what's next for this student. I don't mean for me or the other students but for him. That's a lot of weight to carry around with you at such an early age.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who am I writing the plan for?

I spend most of my time gathering data and writing behavior plans. Lately, I keep feeling like I'm writing a plan with the student's name at the top, but really I'm writing a plan to change the behavior of the teachers. Case in point, I'm working on a student who is placed at a private school because his team decided that his mental health issues make it impossible for him to attend his home school. He definitely has some unmet mental health issues. However, his teacher provides little consistency or structure, demands compliance and doesn't really teach social skills explicitly. Additionally, she doesn't seem to lesson plan - she just kind of makes it up as she goes along. In the student's plan I've got things like, "Provide a consistent schedule with times for each activity that is referred to frequently throughout the day" and "When correcting the student tell him what he has done wrong, why it was wrong and what the correct thing to do is." I try to play it off as speaking to the specific needs of the child but really, who am I writing this plan for?