Sunday, August 31, 2008

Choices - Part 2

Now, don't get me wrong. I like DAP. He's smart and funny, just frustrating. I'm not teasing or making fun of him. As a teacher, if you don't laugh at the craziness, you'd go crazy.

So, DAP joined the rest of us at music. He seemed to not dislike school as much as he thought during music time. After music we came back upstairs to our classroom and after getting settled back in, started math. After my math lesson, the students were assigned some math practice. The timer was set for 10 minutes, plenty of time. At about 5 minutes, I noticed that DAP was staring off into space. "What are you working on?" I asked him. "My math," he answered. "Great, but I want you to watch your time. There's only about 5 minutes left, and you still have a lot to do." "I don't really want to do math anymore." "I know, but I need to know that you know how to do it." He didn't say anything. "But it's your choice DAP, you can do it now and join the class at recess time, or you can sit here now, and go to Mr. Show's room at recess." He didn't answer back. "OK, watch your time. Remember, it's your choice." The timer went off, everyone else was done except for DAP. The rest of the class and I went over the math assignment and then put it away to get ready for recess. This time, DAP started putting it away immediately (can you beleive it?). "Oops, DAP, you need to go get a clip board so you can take the math and your pencil over to Mr. Show's room. You can finish there and then join us at recess." "But, but," he was surprised. "But I have a poptart." "Well, that was the choice you made." He was still in shock and absentmindedly found himself a clipboard. I lined up the class outside and told him to go next door to Mr. Show's room.

That set him off. (Now, close your eyes and imagine the sound a tea kettle makes when the water is ready. The rest of DAP's contribution to the dialogue took place in that sound.) "But IIIIIIIIIIII waaaannnntttt tooo goooo tooooooo recesssssss." "I know you do, but you made the choice to not do math during work time so now you have to do it during your time." "IIIIIIIIII haaaavvvveee aaaaa poooooooptaaaarrrrtttttt."

I didn't want the rest of the class to have to wait for this meltdown to occur and I didn't want to send him to Mr. Show's room in this state, so I told him to get in line as we walked downstairs. He thought I was giving up, but what he didn't know is that I am more stubborn than he is. He happily got into line and we walked downstairs. I quickly sent the rest of the kids out to recess, and told DAP to wait with me. The meltdown suddenly was back. "But IIIIII waaannntttt toooo goooo toooo recesssss." "DAP," I said firmly, "Your work didn't get done during worktime. That work must get done, and it's going to get done right now." Throwing his fists down, "Buuuutttt IIIIII don'ttttt waaaaannnnttttt tooooo dooooo worrrkkkkk." During this time, other 2nd grade classes walked by and he didn't care. We stood by some bushes and being upset he started pulling the leaves off the plant. "DAP, you now have two new choices, one is to come back upstairs with me and do your math, the second choice is to go see Mrs. H (our assistant principal). Which would you like to do.?" He put his face down in the bushes and whined, "I don't like school work." "I know, but that's your job here. Which choice would you like?" He didn't answer. "Alright, I'm going to go get Mrs. H." He looked up at me, "Thaaaatttttt wasn'tttt myyyyy chooooiiiice." "So what choice do you want?" "IIIIIIII don'tttt liiiiikkkkke either oooofff thoooose chooooiiices." "Well, you need to make one and right now you are showing me that you are choosing Mrs. H." "NOOOOOOOOOOO." "Then what's your choice." "Maaaaattttthhhhh." "That's a wonderful choice, let's go upstairs and get started on your math."

With some coaxing, DAP slowly followed me upstairs, several paces behind. "I am so glad that decided to do your math," I told him, "because as soon as you finish, you can bring it to me and go out and play." We walked into my classroom, grabbed his clipboard, and walked back out the door to Mr. Show's room. I walked in the the classroom, the door closed behind me and DAP wasn't inside with me. I looked at Jason and rolled my eyes, "We'll be right back." I walked back outside and there was DAP with his head against the wall, "I doooooonnnnn'ttttt waaaaannnnttttt toooooo dooooooo maaaaaaath. IIIIIItttttt'sssss toooooooo haaaarrrrddddd." "Well, come on inside with me and I will show you how to do it again." He didn't move. "Does that mean you are choosing for me to call Mrs. H?" Silence. So I walked back towards my room and opened the door to call the AP. "NOOOOOOOOOO," he jumped back and blocked the door to stop me from getting inside. Now, I was mad. This had taken up 10 of my 15 minutes of break and I had to go pee. "DAP, this is unacceptable. If you don't go in that room right now and work on your math, Mrs. H is going to come up and get you." "FIIIIINNNNNNEEEEE."

We walked back to Mr. Show's room and I opened the door and made him go in first (fool me once). I sat DAP down at a single desk in his room. "IIIII dooonnnn'tttt knnnoooowwww howwwww toooooo dooooooo itttttt." "I'll show you." I quickly showed him, again, and told him as soon as he finished the front page (that's right people I'm not that much of an ogre, so much time had passed, I just made him do the front side) he could bring it to me and go to recess. He started to meltdown again, but I cheerily said, "Come see me when you're done." I looked at Jason and whispered, "I'm sorry." He just chuckled.

I left the room and went back to my room. I still needed to pee, but I was afraid he'd meltdown again and would need me. I just sat there waiting, and I'm not kidding you, about 3 minutes later he walked in with the front page all finished. "Are you done?" I asked. "Yes," still high pitched, but not whiny. "Come show me, let me see it." He showed it to me and it was all correct. "You did great! It's all correct and I am so proud of you that you made such a good choice to finish it." As soon as I said that, the bell rang. "MMMMMMMMM," he started to pout, knowing that he missed recess, "buuuutttttt IIIIIIII haaaaaaaaddddddd aaaaaaa popppppptaaaaaaaaarrrrrtttttt."

I'll stop there for now. There is just a bit more funny to the story. Stay tuned.


  1. That's funny stuff. I bet Jason loved the whole scene. BUT HE HAD A POPTART how could you make do math when he explained that to you???

  2. It's a good thing Pumpkin doesn't like pop tarts or she would have grabbed it and eaten it right then and there!

    This is going to be a year full of DAP stories!

  3. Loving this story!!

    I get that way over pop tarts as well.

  4. Poor DAP. Tell Neck-pulling guy to get you a one on one and STAT. That's what we do at WC. :)

  5. lol
    Nice descriptive language. I could picture the whole scene.


  6. Oh, Im sorry, but this is breaking my heart. It's one thing when kids are disobedient, but kids like DAP really need a 1:1 to help keep them on task.

    I dont think you are an ogre....the situation isnt fair to you, or the other kids....and not to DAP.

    If I was his mom I would demand a 1:1...perhaps you can help advocate for that. (where is the school social worker or psychologist????)

  7. Doesn't that just piss you off? (Literally?!) I reaaaaalllly think that if folks in the corporate world missed their breaks and had to pay for supplies it would open their eyes.- I don't get a break because there is no one to break us!- So I leave work 15 mintues early whenver I want!