Neutralizing Mom From Hell (MFH)!, Part 1

Dear Readers,

As you know, I’ve had a pretty terrible beginning of the year. I mean, it started off with a funky vibe that just didn’t feel right. From there, it just escalated to me dealing with the mom from Hell. I really want her out of life, but I know that’s not going to happen. That would be too easy. My life just doesn’t work like that.

Right now I am holding back tears because I am just so tired of going through H.E.L.L. It seems like I take one step forward and 15 back. But, I digress. I’ll talk about that at a later date. Right now, I’m just going to talk about attempting to neutralize the MFH. Let me begin at the beginning. Her daughter has only been in my class since last Monday. Are you counting? That’s only 1 week and 2 days. In this time, she has gone to the Principal and asked her to “watch me” because she doesn’t think I’m teaching her daughter right. Really?

What prompted this, you may ask? She asked how her daughter was doing and I told her. So, of course it can’t be her daughter’s problem. It has to be mine, right? STRIKE #1.

So, the next morning the Principal tells me about he little visit. I go to her and tell her I’d like to talk to her after school.Read More »

Bubble Blowing Contest in Class Today!

Well, I had to use the bubble blowing thing in class today. One of my little girls, who I’ll call Binaca Blast, was accused of stealing a pencil from one of the other girls. So, this started a “friend tug-of-war”. If you have little girls in your class or have little girls of your own, then you know what I mean by “friend tug-of-war”. One girl tells the other girl’s friends not to play with the her (If you can understand that).

I asked all three of them if they played the “friend tug-of-war” game  and of course they all said no. It was at this point that I called them up individually and told them that I knew they did it. That’s when Binaca Blast started crying. It went on for a good 15 minutes. Once she stopped, I had the class go up to her and do a group hug to fill her bucket. (More on that in another post). After we filled her bucket, I gave her the bubbles.

“I don’t want to blow bubbles,” she said. “I want my brother!”

“Well, school is in session and you’re brother is not in this class, so that will have to wait,” I said.

“Now,” I said gently, “go ahead and blow the bubbles.”

Since there was no way for the other students not to be distracted, I stopped the class and had a bubble blowing contest. After we finished, I asked her if she wanted to keep blowing bubbles or have a seat. Which one do you think she chose? So, I let her blow bubbles for another 4 minutes, then requested her presence in the group.

After school, she came up to me and told me that she wanted to buy the bubbles in the classroom store next Friday.

“Ok,” I said, “but, you have to keep your money by following directions and no stealing. She insisted that she didn’t steal anything. So, if I see her mother in the morning, I will ask her about the pencil. Until then, bye for now.

Bubble Blowing & Coloring for Classroom Management!!!

Bubble Blowing & coloring for classroom management!!! What a crazy idea, right? Well, it works. That’s the brilliant idea I came up with for my students, when they are upset, mad, or just generally in a bad mood. I came up with the idea because I was blowing bubbles in the summer for my daughter. She kept bugging me & I really didn’t want to blow them. But, I blew them anyway. What I discovered is that, during the process of blowing bubbles, that my anger & lackadaisical attitude disappeared. I figured if it works on me, then it would definitely work on children. So, this year, third week into the school year, I am 2/2.

So, why don’t you try it and see if it works for your students. Bye for now.

Me & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

Today was the day from H.E.L.L!!! It was the worst day of my teaching career. Let me begin at the beginning. I just wasn’t feeling “it” today. I was feeling a bit off all day. I get in and see the parent from H.E.L.L. waiting on me. I politely passed her and her trouble-making self up.

Next, my student, Coaster, who I’ve been having tremendous success with (up until today) decided that he didn’t want to do any work today. Then, a student came to me with some disturbing news that made me fear for her safety, so I had to call Child Protective Services. Lastly, the mother from H.E.L.L. showed up after school with a petty, bitchy complaint. Normally, I would have been happy to entertain her, but today was the 4th time, in a week, that she’d come to me in a foul manner. The other reason was that I was on the phone with Child Protective Services when she & her daughter were at my classroom door pounding relentlessly for about 5 minutes.

After I called Child Protective Services I cried. This story is much longer but, I will share it at another time because I still have tears in my eyes. Bye for now!

The Time Had Come…

Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! is one of my favorite books. The kid, Marvin, reminds me of some students I’ve had over the years. One student, in particular (who I’ll call Coaster), is this year’s Marvin K. Mooney. He used to raise all kinds of hell last year with the the 2nd/3rd grade teacher, because he didn’t want to do it. He has an excuse though- he’s moderately autistic. Since I knew this ahead of time, I had a plan. I started talking to him last year. Even though he wouldn’t say anything or respond to me, I would walk by & speak to him. Towards the end of the year, he started responding.

“Hi, Coaster.”

“Hi!” he responded.

“Good,” I thought, “he’s coming around”.

So, things were going great until, fast forward to the third day of school when he refuses to eat with the rest of my class. He would not budge from that bench (a la Marvin K. Mooney). At the beginning of the year, I usually walk to the lunch area with my class and eat with them to make sure they bond to ensure they become a family. However, on that day, I didn’t pack my lunch, so I had to go to the little cafe across the street. Well, when I got back, I see Coaster sitting apart from the class with the Librarian. So, I walk over to the Librarian, say hi to her, and begin talking to Coaster.

“Ummm, Coaster,” I said, ” we are a family, so that means eating together.

“No, I’m not going,” he said.

“Yes, you are,” I said. “You can get up quietly and come over or we can have a conference with your mom. Do you want to disappoint your mom?

“No,” he said.

“Shall we go?” I said.

“Ok!” he said.

Was it really that easy??? He would have given the 2nd/3rd grade teacher H.E.L.L. for about 15 minutes. Just Because!!! I guess my behavior management techniques are pretty effective.

…so Marvin went!

My Class This Year…

It’s funny how every class is different. Last year my students were talkers.This year, my students are what some of you might call headstrong. I call it hardheaded.  They are having trouble following directions & listening. There are two little girls who, pretty much, rule their mothers. So, they think they should rule the classroom. (Can’t you just hear the needle scratching the record.) If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that is simply not going to happen. Being the person that I am, I simply can NOT & will not allow that to happen. Returning to school so early is really wearing on me more than I thought I would. I’m really tired, so I will post more about them tomorrow. I have to make up names for the new cast of characters. So, bye for now!