September 12, 2006

The 2nd 1st Day of School

Last week, Ethan came home from school upset. He had received a referral for disrupting the class. Turns out that at recess, he had wanted to play football, and when his classmates picked teams, Ethan was left out. He didn't want to be left out, so he just joined one of the teams. Yet when he tagged the player who had the ball, that player just looked at him and said, "It doesn't count because you can't play football."

Fourth grade can be difficult.

When he returned to class, Ethan couldn't concentrate, so upset was he. He couldn't even sit still in his seat. So he got the referral.

Believe it or not, Ethan's teachers are great. But they have a challenge: a large, split class of 3rd and 4th graders; and a large split schedule with each teacher teaching half the week. Add to that Ethan's special needs (type 1 diabetes, anxiety disorders, and a little ADHD), and it was clear that this was going to be a very difficult year.

Then my wife comes home and says, "You know, at the school where I'm teaching, there's a 4th grade class for kids who need a little extra attention in regards to behavior & social skills. The teacher has a master's and is experienced in helping kids figure out ways to improve their learning." Ethan is incredibly smart (he reads at almost high-school level), so I wondered if this was the right move for him. But after meeting with the new teacher, I agreed with my wife that it was. So today, Ethan has his second 1st day of school. He's excited about it, and I'm hopeful.

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