This morning began with meeting a parent and resolving a complaint. It was not a difficult meeting and the issues were fairly easily sorted out. As I expected, there seemed to be an underlying motive which related to an ex partner and where the child should live. That bit was hard. As a school we have to remain neutral in situations like this. What was frustrating on this occasion was that we have already poured a great deal of resource into this family and until they find a way of co-parenting their child will continue to struggle. We support the child as best we can, we try and give them strategies to help them manage, but we are aware that there’s only so much we can do under the circumstances.
During the course of the day one of the original members of the support group (who had started in it with me last year and is now back in class) was not having trouble settling. He was being very disruptive and saying that he wanted to go back into the group. We made it quite clear that this wasn’t an option.
He is an interesting character. He is incredibly good with his hands. He shows an amazing ability to look after younger children and can be very gentle. It was quite funny really, he was trying to be really naughty and although he was disrupting the other children, somehow he didn’t quite manage it. A complete contrast to this time last year when he was feral. I ended up making him a cup of tea and my Assistant Head sat and chatted with him. He told her about some of the things he was worried about; his friend had ‘gone over the handlebars and banged his head on the concrete’. His brother has two broken arms. His other friend has a gash on his knee. His brother and his nephew were both at home poorly. And there lay the problem. He couldn’t bear the other children being at home with mum while he was at school. He settled back in class for a bit but after lunch was out again. One of the Learning Support Assistants pointed him out to me – he was outside, playing with the the water tray. In almost a complete re-enactment of a similar situation that I blogged about back in June, when another child had run out of class and had gone to the water tray and was playing with the water.
I got my coat and went and joined him. We got wet. Very wet. We threw water on the grass. We poured cups of tea. We experimented to see what would float. We measured how much water different containers held. We made huge waves when we emptied the water out and marvelled together that so much water could come from the sky and fill up so many water trays. When we were too wet to continue we went back inside and my office staff found him some dry clothes. I told him that I would call his mum to come and talk to me at the end of the day. He went back to class and got on with his learning.