A Perfect Storm…

Vulnerable chilren around the school are starting to be more notieable as the holiday approaches. Children who have been well managed and contained and learning well are struggling to stay in class, are refusing to learn, are showing us how anxious they are. Staff are tired, the dark mornings, long days and dark evenings are starting to take their toll.

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This last few days my SLT and I have been ‘scooping up’ anxious children and trying to soothe exhausted staff, and we still have two weeks to go.

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My PFSW and I met with the mum who I blogged about on Friday. She just about managed to accept that the presence of the new baby has created a new order in the house and that her daughter is struggling with this. We will see what happens and will keep an eye on things here.

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Parents are getting tired. Yesterday one stormed into a classroom at the end of the day and shouted at a child who they thought had ‘bullied’ their child. All over a small toy. There was no bullying by any of the children, but there was unacceptable adult behaviour towards a child. I have said before that there seems to be no differentiation on the estate between adults and children so they don’t realise that actually it is not acceptable for them to shout at someone else’s child. Indeed, if someone else shouted at theirs they would probably come to blows.

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I spoke to the parent and to be fair, they apologised to the child before they came to see me and did realise that they had not behaved appropriately. What was interesting was that their partner was attempting to fuel the situation by making negative comments about other parents. I realised that more often than not there is someone standing behind, loading the gun.

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A perfect storm is brewing. There is a holiday coming and our children don’t manage breaks. Children who are most emotionally unstable manage them even less well. The children in the support group are starting to anticipate the separation that is the Christmas holiday. They are more anxious, more edgy, quicker to fly off the handle and more violent. This is very difficult for the staff to manage without feeling totally drained and anxious themselves. Added to this one of the group has now moved school. The children left behind seem to be wondering if they will be ‘got rid of’ next. More anxiety.

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One child in particular is having a difficult time at the moment and we’re not really sure why. He has had a very successful reintegration in to his class for most of this term but in the last couple of weeks he has not been managing very well at all and is now back in the group. It is as if he has no skin to keep things out at the moment. If there is even the mere hint of a negative of any kind he completely flies off the handle. This afternoon he was rampaging around the school, I was ‘following’ at a distance and eventually I managed to corral him in our sports equipment store. His face was full of fury and frustration but I detected something else too. As he was throwing things around I began, very quietly to talk to him about the things in the store, and what might be hung on this hook or that peg and so on. Eventually he began to engage with me. I told him that I wasn’t angry with him but rather that I was sad that he wasn’t able to manage in class at the moment. I then realised what the other emotion was that I could see in his face. I told him that it felt to me as if he was sad about something too. As I said this he visibly relaxed. I didn’t ask him what he was sad about. I said that I was cold, and did he want to come to my office now? No, he said, ‘I’m ready to go back to class’. And he did.

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One Response to A Perfect Storm…

  1. Mrs T says:

    Only 15 more sleeps to go! Not that I am wishing the time away, but this term is always a long, dark and tiring one. Wishing you all lots of energy to keep going.

    I am writing this listening to the sound of our choir and our recorder group serenading a group of parents who regularly give up their time at our school to help with reading, swimming, fund raising etc as they are thanked with a mince pie and a cuppa. All very festive, but I am also thinking of all those families for whom the festive season can bring heartache and sadness. Sending good vibes from us to you.

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