Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Learning how to adapt to a substitute teacher

My little guy had a substitute teacher today. For the most part, my little guy had a fantastic day. Things didn't go down hill until the very end of the day. During math, the substitute teacher was asked to play Math Bingo with the kids. My kid had an absolutely terrible time with this game. He ended up having one of the biggest meltdowns that he has ever had at school. The comments on his behavior chart were: During math RTI he had a hard time playing Bingo. Got upset because he didn't win any rounds. Became disruptive by shouting and then crying and screaming. Had to be taken out of class. It was so bad, that his aide had to take him to the learning resource center to deescalate. Thankfully, the special education teacher was able to help him pull it together relatively quickly. According to my child, "My teacher told me to breath in and out and then I was okay!" Deep breathing is a great deescalating tool that we occasionally use at home.

From my perspective, I think that he struggled with Bingo for a couple of different reasons. Bingo is a game that is not normally included in the math schedule. Change is hard, and with any type of change or transition my kid needs to be prepped and front loaded. The next big reason is that my kiddo should have had a quick pep talk in regards to what he should expect when playing the game. When he saw a kiddo win a prize, in his mind, he immediately thought that every child would end up winning a prize. He needs to be taught sportsmanship and that its okay to lose, but he's just not quite at the place where he can transfer this concept into an unknown task or activity.

The good news is this, when my little guy got home he was able to articulate that he had a really rough day. He was able to tell me exactly what he did wrong. We had a long in depth discussion about expected and unexpected activities. He also had a consequence. He lost his Ipod for the evening. He was okay with this and he actually chose this punishment himself. On a side note, at the end of our discussion, he looked up and asked me how my kids at school were dealing with having a substitute teacher. For those of you who don't know, I recently had my gallbladder removed. I told my little guy that having a substitute can be hard for any child, but fortunately my kids at school were blessed to have my wonderful paraeducator substituting for me. I thought that it was amazing that he transferred his situation at school to my being out due to surgery. The last thing that I want to mention is that after the meltdown occurred and he had deescalated, he immediately went to the teacher and apologized for his behavior. This makes me extremely proud that he was able to self-identify that he hadn't behaved appropriately and that he needed to apologize. So despite having a rough day, I call that a win!

1 comment:

  1. He is showing great growth! I can't help but wonder if his emotions might of been heightened because of the loss of your dog. Also your class misses you very much and asks daily how you are doing!