He threatened to punch my face in once. Told me to watch out because the next time he saw me on "the block" I was "going to get it." I see him almost every night when I walk to the bus.
I can't count the number of times he's ran in to my classroom and cursed me out, then stood outside my locked door and screamed "F*** YOU!!!" at the top of his lungs.
2 weeks ago he called me a "stupid white bitch" and kicked another teacher as we walked to the main building.
I've written up every incident and requested time and time again that he not be allowed in my classroom or near my students.
He doesn't even belong in our school. He's on a superintendent's suspension from another school. None of that mattered on Wednesday when the suspension teacher was gone and they needed a babysitter. An aide attempted to bring him in to my room.
"He can't be in here," I said. "He's threatened me numerous times, I've written it up and requested that he not be put in here."
"They told me to have (my para) watch him."
"Well she's not here right now and he can't be in here," I said.
They left, and as soon as my para came back so did the aide, with the student.
He was ours for the day. I gritted my teeth and tried to hold back my anger. My students sat silently. I had just been defied and they all knew it.
"One word from you and you are out of here, do you understand me?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said.
And he worked. And worked. And worked. Silently. All day.
And I realized what I should have realized all along. He acts the way he does because he cannot read or write or add.
He stayed that day, an hour later than he was supposed to. He did work while my class played games and at the end of the day he asked if he could come back tomorrow. I told him we would see.
The next day he came back.
He worked....and worked....and worked.
I let him play a game with us. He tried. He couldn't. He couldn't read the words for sight word bingo. I don't show my kids the cards. He couldn't multiply for around the world. My kids have come so far. He's only beginning. His spirit couldn't be broken. He asked to come back tomorrow. I said okay.
He came back with pencils and notebooks and paper and asked to be in my class. I told him we would see. He asked for a clothespin (on our negative consequence chart) and for his name to be added to our reward system. He wanted to know what table to sit at for table points. He wants to belong. He already does.
I tested him for reading. He doesn't know all of the letters of the alphabet.
The kids have adopted him like one of our own.
I can't stop thinking of ways to help him.
People keep peeking in my room, in disbelief that I have Loucchie sitting down and working.
Actually, Loucchie has Loucchie sitting down and working.
If only it wasn't June already.
He's unofficially mine, I think. Not on my roster, but mine. Out of all the lessons I've learned this year, the power of forgiveness and second chances may just be the most powerful.