Friday, March 15, 2013

A teacher tells her side...

(Received by me March 13th)

March 1, 2013
Reported by Mrs. G

"I arrived in the classroom around 9:35 AM. Another instructional assistant took Emerson to Specials because I was working with another student that was having a melt-down and needed my attention. When I arrived, the IA told me that Emerson had a wonderful computer class and that she would bring me his point folder in a little bit because she forgot it.

I had another student with me in the classroom that was calming down, so I distracted him by allowing him to participate in the lesson that I was presenting to Emerson. The goal right now for Emerson is to work on comprehension of reading and to do this, retelling stories is a good way to practice. The Kindergarten students were reading a Dr. Seuss story as per there lesson plans for ELA, so we did so as well.

I turned on the computer to show it via YouTube, but had complications with the technology. I thought I had it fixed several times, but called both students back and forth from the kidney table and my desk because I thought they were going to have to watch it from my laptop. Emerson was doing very well. He was listening to what I asked him to do, and was patiently waiting at the kidney table for my instructions.

I was finally able to fix the technology problem and both students watched the read-aloud of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. After watching the story once, I asked comprehension questions to both students. I realized that Emerson was only able to tell me parts of the story, so I decided to let him listen to it again. At this point, I was still trying to maintain my other student, so I brought the bean bag over for him to sit on and watch the story again.

When I sat on the floor beside both students, I got a phone call from Mr. S telling me that Mrs. Quigley was sitting outside my classroom door on the floor. He said that she had her ear on the door and was on the phone. He was worried about the way she was acting and if anyone knew about it, so he told me he was going to tell Mr. H. I asked him if he could stop by the classroom before he went downstairs so that she would stand up and possibly come inside to observe instead. He agreed and quickly came down the hallway.

When he arrived at the classroom, he told me that she didn’t budge and that she was trying to ask him questions that he didn’t feel comfortable answering. I told him that he didn’t have to answer them if that was the case, and e could direct her to either me, Ms. R, or Mr. H. He told me that he was going to get Emerson’s folder from PPCD and to tell Mr. H and that he would be right back. He did this quickly. When he came back, she was still attempting to ask him questions outside the classroom. He brought the point sheet in to me and then left the classroom to go work with another student. Mrs. Quigley remained outside the classroom hiding from view.
I continued on with my lesson. Through-out this whole time, I was using choices to help guide Emerson to re-tell the story and to give me details of what he watched. I would give him two answers, one was right, and one was wrong. He did very well after he watched the story the second time.

After this activity was over, we moved on to working on Lexia. At first, Emerson didn’t want to work on Lexia, he continually said that he wanted to play on cool math. Even though Emerson said no, he eventually complied with my directions and sat at the computer. It took several times for him to keep the Lexia program open, be he finally did and we began working on the next section of the program.

In the middle of the activity, he started to make noises and cover one of his ears. I gave him time to process and I asked him to use his “big boy words” and tell me what was wrong. I gave him choices to pick in order to express his feelings. I asked him if it was loud, if it was too much color, did the noises bother him, did he want to take a break, etc. He continually said no, but complied and opened the program back up. He started making noises again after starting Lexia and I gave him time to process and take a break at the computer for about a minute or so. The entire time, I was sitting about a foot away from him.

He continued to make noises with his hand over his ear. I explained to him that he had done a wonderful job at computer class, at re-telling the story, following directions, and he only had to complete one lesson and he was free to play on cool math before we went down for lunch. He continued to make his noises and say no... at this point I hear Mrs. Quigley behind me and Mr. H came rushing up behind her. She began to yell at me saying that she knows her son and this was a full- out meltdown and that I obviously did not understand what was happening. She picked him up and she put him in her lap after she sat in the other chair at the computer station. I did not feel comfortable. I stood up and told her that he had been telling me that he wanted cool math and he was attempting to escape the given activity. She yelled over me telling me that my statement wasn’t true and that he wasn’t escaping. I looked at Mr. H and backed up telling him that I was extremely uncomfortable. I stood by him at which time he told me that I was okay.

Both Mr. H and I stopped talking and I listened to what she was saying to Emerson. She was asking him if he was okay. He told her that he wanted to go home. She explained to him that he needed to stay at school. She then asked him in specific words if he was trying to escape the task that I had assigned to him. His response to her was, “Yes.” She then explained to him that he needed to listen to everything Ms. G told him and that he needed to follow directions. At this point he was calm and she put him down. She explained to him that she was going to talk to Mr. Halbert out in the hall and that she would see him in a minute.

I continued to work with Emerson for the next 5 or 10 minutes on the activity. I shortened the lesson and allowed him to only complete a part of it. At one point, he asked to take a break on the bean bag. I praised him for using his words, and allowed him to sit on the bean bag for a break. I set the timer for three minutes, and explained to him that after it went off, we would complete the activity. He said no several time, but eventually got up when the timer went off and sat down at the computer again. It took a little while, but when he was done with the activity, I praised him for doing a wonderful job and that I was so proud of him for following through and completing his assignment. I gave Mr. Halbert a thumb up because he was looking through the window on my door.

At this time, I asked Emerson to get his folder so that we could go to lunch. He stood on the blue square and I waited until it was clear to open the door. When we walked out, I praised his choices to his mother and she seemed happy. She explained to him that she was going downstairs to talk with Mr. H some more and that the silver car would be picking him up when school was over. She then corrected her statement saying that she was wrong, and the van would pick him up. She told him to enjoy his lunch and have a good rest of his day. He said he wanted to go with her several times, but after she reassured him, he began to walk with me down the hallway.
We then walked down the hallway to the elevator. I dropped him off at the cafeteria with PPCD and came back to my classroom."


  1. I noticed that not once did anybody say they offered you a chair to sit on or acknowledge that yes, your presence in class (to observe Emerson) would have been disruptive to his leaning process. I also didn't read that they will provide you with a chair outside the class for your next visit.

  2. I do not understand why the teacher keeps mentioning she was uncomfortable. who cares? I still do not see how you were wrong here.

  3. I do not understand why the teacher keeps mentioning she was uncomfortable. who cares? I still do not see how you were wrong here.