The Hardest Child

It’s only my first year teaching and I’m sure there will be plenty more “hard” children in my career. But this year, there is a child who is HARD.

The first few months of school were fine. He was awesome and wasn’t causing any problems. Then, one day, he came in crying and wouldn’t leave the doorway. Every time I tried to talk to him, he would scream and go further into the corner. Anytime anyone even looked in his direction, he would do the same thing. He eventually stopped and rejoined the group as if nothing happened. This is when our problems started.

If this child didn’t get his way, he would cry, hide under the table, and scream. There were times when things were thrown. I was advised to ignore his outbursts, and was told he would rejoin the group when ready. He sat under a beanbag and cried for 2 hours. He only stopped because it was lunch time.

This child made me feel very inadequate and hopeless. It seemed as if everything I did would work for a few days and then we would be back to square one. We weren’t making any long term progress. My only solution was to remove him from the classroom when he had an outburst. He wouldn’t leave on his own, however, someone would have to come get him and distract the other children. There wasn’t anything I could do in the classroom to stop this. There were many days after school spent in tears over this child. I wanted to get through to him, but couldn’t find the way.

Then one day, a few weeks ago, he got all his work done. I started stamping the kiddos pages after they finished them. Sometimes, they even got a sticker. This was all the motivation he needed to complete the page. He has usually gotten all his work done since. He stopped acting out. He gets to participate in Fun Friday (a fun activity we do on Friday for those with excellent behavior and complete their work). We aren’t having any more problems. He will get upset and cry often, but he cries quietly and doesn’t hide under tables or anything.

We still have our moments where he is hard but, they are far less frequent. We are finally having more good days than bad.

This child is such a sweetheart and is so full of love for those around him. He wants to be accepted by the other children and to make friends with everyone. He has a sensitive heart and is always looking for ways to help others. When someone is upset, he is always quick and willing to share his skills he uses to calm down to help them. He loves to help those around him. He is eager to please and wants the positive attention of those around him. He is learning how to persevere through things that are hard for him. He has developed such a strong work ethic in these past few weeks that is AMAZING!

This child has taught me so much. He has helped me grow as a teacher. In this short year I have been teaching, he has helped me learn how to teach so much better. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be his teacher.

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7 thoughts on “The Hardest Child

  1. You will likely never forget each other! I’m so glad to hear she’s had a bit of a breakthrough! The first year of teaching is like no other! Kudos to you for taking on this challenge during your first year of teaching!

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  2. Those kids are the ones who stick with us forever. This slice reminded me of that child for me in my first year of teaching…you are going to remain with her forever too…she will know what it is like to have a teacher be so kind a patient and “get” her.

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  3. Hard things are hard. Hard children are harder. It sounds like you have handled the situation in a positive way. I left this not knowing if your student was a boy or a girl–and perhaps that was intended, but the changing pronouns threw me a bit.

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  4. I am so glad you were able to find something that worked. This is a student you will never forget, and one that will probably never forget you. This is what makes teaching worthwhile.

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