Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All that Glitters is not gold. Or in this case - sane.

I will do my very best to write this scenario with 100% accuracy, no embellishments, and appropriate voice. This particular story begs to be reenacted (which I've done 4 times already today), but short of posting a video of myself doing said reenactment, typed words will have to suffice. Here goes...

So far, this year has been - um - interesting. I have students unlike any I've had in the past...and I've had some doozies! Maybe I'll post a quick list of some of my most interesting students/moments in the future. But this one - well - she deserves a post dedicated just to her. Her name (for the sake of confidentiality) shall be...Sequin.

For lack of a better term - or a medically accepted one - Sequin is (simply stated) crazy. I'm talking "off-the-charts, has had assault charges filed against her (by family members), has threatened students and staff, and is supposed to have a constant shadow" level of crazy. Emotionally disturbed crazy. (Aside: There's an episode of W&G in which Grace and Will are arguing about who's "crazier." Grace at one point motions to herself saying, "Oh! This crazy is allllllll real!!!" That's what I think of when I see Sequin.)

School Day 2: Sequin shows up to my class. Now it's only Day 2, so I'm still optimistic about every one of my kids, but I've already heard rumors about Sequin, although I haven't received paperwork on her yet. I think she must have esp because she instantly makes it her mission to shatter my optimistic hopes and dreams and just piss me off.

She talks back. Loudly. Rudely. Constantly.
She makes fun of other students. Loudly. Rudely.
She refuses to do any work.
She draws and scribbles all over her paper. Angrily.

After doing a group lesson and assignment during which Sequin did the aforementioned activities in lieu of her work:

Misc. Redhead (standing with my hand out, calm voice): Sequin, please hand me your paper. (Note: I've got to document her behavior and lack of work, so I can cover my own ass in the future.)
Sequin (crosses arms and begins a staring contest with eyes as evil as Damien's from The Omen)
Misc. Redhead: (continuing to calmly stand there holding out my hand)
Sequin (yelling in an accent that can be described as 98% ghetto and 2% Spanish): I ain't gonna give you my paper! (wads it up into a ball)
Misc. Redhead (determined not to back down, but can't lose my temper because - remember - I've heard she's, I just keep my hand out.)
Sequin (shoves past me and throws the paper in the trash)

I walk to the trash can and my stubbornness starts to kick in.

Misc. Redhead (calmly): Fine, Sequin, then I'll just get it out of the trash. You know what? That's absolutely fine with me.
Sequin (yelling): Man! You're nasty! You go on and dig in the nasty trash can, but don't come near me again after you get all nasty in the nasty trash can. (pauses) Nasty.

I WILL introduce her to a thesaurus if it's the ONLY thing I do this year.

She is subsequently removed from my classroom following a quick phone call to the behavioral intervention teacher. I (nor any other teacher) will see her for several weeks as her behavior becomes so out-of-control that she is not permitted to be around other students. Then one day...

I see Sequin in the hall during my off period...wearing a t-shirt that says "Cute Psycho" (I kid you not. I couldn't have written it better if I wanted to. Or got paid to.). I'll call this version of her "Sparkle" because I guarantee you it's not the same girl that sat in my room. This one is all smiles with a sugary sweet voice. My stomach turns at how sweet she is. Or maybe it was nerves as I was worried (or scared shitless - take your pick) that I might end up with a shiv in my ribs the moment she flips and becomes Sequin again.

I convey this encounter to her behavioral intervention teacher when she claims Sequin is "scared" of me as the reason for her not returning to my class. Get serious. No kid is scared of me. Ever. She has just figured out how to manipulate this awesome education system of ours.

Cut to today. Five weeks from our first meeting. Remember? When I was all "nasty"? Per a meeting with a cool acronym for a name, she's now "required" to attend class 75% of the time. Hey...two times in 24 days = progress!

Sequin walks into the room. I smile. She sees another boy who is quite "special" but very sweet. Another kid with emotional and behavioral issues, but on a completely different level.

Sequin (yelling): I ain't sittin' by him! I hate him! I don't even want to be in the same room with him! He's so gross! (poor kid just has a "huh?" expression on his face during this whole scene) Look! He put his stuff on that desk! That's too close to mine! Get it away from me! I don't want his stuff near me!

And on and on...while the rest of the class sits stunned while trying not to laugh out of sheer nervousness.

I just continue to smile and not confront her hoping she'll settle down. I continue on with class.

Sequin (again yelling and now pointing at me): And I was only nice to YOU that day in the hall because I thought you was Miss Smith. If I had realized it was YOU, I would NOT have been so nice to YOU!

I feel every kid staring at me with wonder. I just smile and ignore her.

A few minutes later she's continuing her constant, loud, rude, back-talking (to herself mind you because I sure-as-hell am not talking to her) and is disrupting other kids. I look at her and quietly put my finger to my lips in the infamous "shhh" gesture. Sequin puts her finger to her lips, gives me a "go to hell" face, and loudly "shhh"'s me right back. Quick phone call. And then Sequin was escorted out of my room. Again. I won't bore you with the details of that scene. Same song. Fifty-second verse.

I'm guessing I'll see her in another 24 days or so. If I'm lucky. And she hasn't tracked me down with a sharpened toothbrush by then.