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!” 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!