Me and My Lost Boys

A lot of the kids that I work with are lost.  What I mean is that they are very needy, sort of like the lost boys in Peter Pan.  Somewhere along the way, their emotional or mental growth has been inhibited (trapped would go better with my theme, I guess) and I am there to help them bridge the gap between where they are and where they are supposed to be.

This week, one of my boys flinched when I took a piece of paper out of my binder and, unknowingly,  flung it back a little too close to him.  Another told me he couldn’t read A Child Called It, one of the non-fiction books all the kids can read (adults generally can’t because it makes them sick) because of all the things that have happened to him in his lifetime. Both things broke my heart.

The big thing, though, was a boy who isn’t even technically mine.  He is needy, though, so the teacher has placed him with me.  If this boy can remember where his locker is, it’s a great day.  If he knows where it is and can remember the combination, that’s cause for celebration.  If he offers you a paper done independently, in terms of accomplishment, that’s like a ten page paper one of the other kids would write.

I don’t know why, but keeping track of his binder has been an issue for the past week and, sure enough, when he came to English, it was gone.  Again.  A teacher who was in the class to help walked him to his locker. (We can’t let him walk alone because, well…there are issues).  The binder wasn’t there.  Retracing his steps led her to the shop class.  When they walked in to get the binder, the shop teacher berated this boy in front of the class, saying he needed to get his act together.  That’s true, but the rest of us were just glad he could remember where he had been so that we had a chance of finding it.  We were wondering why the shop teacher reacted as he did.

Because the teachers involved are all female (at least I think that’s the reason), they have nominated me to talk to the shop teacher.  I tried to get the other teacher to go because she witnessed the incident, but…it’s all mine.   So tomorrow, I am going to ask the shop teacher what happened and tell him that the boy was visibly upset after their encounter.  I am going to ask if he is aware that the boy has issues.  I don’t see how you could not be, but I suppose maybe he could get lost in the atmosphere of the shop class.  And I am going to point out that, since the boy has issues, it would help if the teacher pointed out what he does right and, if he needs correction, gives it to him in private.

I don’t know if the teacher will listen or not.  I know shop has a totally different atmosphere than English class.  But I think he needs to be aware that his words crushed an already fragile boy-child.  And if I don’t point it out to him, I don’t know who will.


3 Responses to “Me and My Lost Boys”

  1. 1 melissa September 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    i read a ‘child called it’ when i was in high school and it truly was an upsetting and sad book then. now, having kids of my own, i dont think i could read it. having kids completely changes your point of view. i know everyone told me that, but i didnt believe them or even begin to understand the change until it happened. it really does change every aspect of your life, it is an amazing blessing.

  2. 2 melissa September 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    the point of the previous comment was …

    to know that young man has had things happen to him even remotely similar to the kid in the book is terribly sad. and i hope the school didnt make him read it.

    • 3 Becky September 30, 2009 at 5:13 am

      Fortunately, the kids read this book as an Accelerated Reader choice. It is never assigned. And I think you may be right about why kids, not adults, read it. When you know first-hand the gift you have been given when you have a child, it’s just unfathomable that anyone could abuse them or that adults could look on and do nothing.

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