Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer School

It's been a pretty rough week thus far at Brooklawn. The boys are restless. None of them want to be in summer school, and, really, who can blame 'em? Summer's warmth and sunshine stares them in the face. It taunts them and reminds them that their lives aren't normal. They can't take summer off, sleep in and play around all day, every day. They can't have that luxury, and ya know, it must really suck. Also, most of them are morally opposed to the concept of school. Yeah, generally, it's not really their thing.

One kid in my class has been particularly bitter, and let's the entire staff know it. His attention span isn't exactly in the realm of the positive, and any respect for his teachers and classmates went down the toilet last Thursday. On Monday, he took his frustrations out on another boy in the class, taunting him more incessantly as the periods came and went. Finally, in Art around noon, the boy snapped and picked up a chair, ready to toss it at his aggressor. I convinced him to put the chair down and leave the room to take a Time Out, but it was scary. These boys don't mess, and I have to learn not to mess either.

The next day, a fight nearly broke out in my unit just after lunch. I and a couple other staffers intervened, and prevented an outbreak, but the afternoon was not pleasant. The atmosphere in the unit was tense. Rumors were flying right and left about this and that. Allegations were made here and there by everyone about everyone. It was fun times.

And today...oh today... Today, I had to ground a kid for extreme defiance, meaning put him on restrictions for two days. More than ground him, though, I had to have him removed from class. Suffice it to say, it was not fun. I had to get three other staffers to help me convince him to leave peacefully, but eventually he did. So, I experienced my first crisis situation and gave out my first grounding. I'm still trying to process the whole situation. I did some things right, and I did a lot more wrong. Overall, though, I learned a lot, and I think my backbone got a little thicker.


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