Day 24 (of 183) patience – or how I learned to hate long weekends
So…..here I stand outside a bathroom entrance waiting for a student to change his brain. He is in what we call ‘the red zone’ which means he isn’t thinking but instead reacting to either fight/flight/freeze. In this case it was flight to the bathroom – the ‘deal’ is that he goes to a space in a room that he designed when he needs ‘an escape’.
The tough part is that this is not simply a reaction to something going on in the classroom – but was almost anticipated based on trends around transitions before & after long weekends. For various reasons these ‘extended breaks from school’ don’t go well for all learners. I know at home while my son likes the break from school, the disruption in regular routines make things challenging.
There was also a time I would have involved myself earlier either through verbal or physical means – when students are physical threat to themselves or others, I have/do/will intervene – right now when he is trying to destroy a toilet paper dispenser…….I can wait. But it ain’t easy. But I also know that trying to solve a problem while one (or both of us) aphave brains on the red zone isn’t productive. At all.
The next challenge/consideration is “what’s next”. When ‘we’ create the challenges students struggle with, is it fair to “punish”? I support consequences and restitution, but I struggle when the suggestion is ‘to go home’ because…..well we can see that a positive “extended” stay at home didn’t turn out well….what will 3-5 more days change?
The secret joy I have is that when I am being patient, I can see the confusion the student has. He isn’t getting the reaction he anticipated/wanted – which is making his brain work – and when the brain starts working it is easier to leaves he ‘red zone’ – though not “losing face” is the next challenge – how to move on once it is realized that the behaviour isn’t going to get the reaction anticipated. But I still wonder – if we were in school yesterday, how would’ve today been different.
Patience. Like wait time it can be very challenging for both – because even I would much prefer to move along faster than it is….but while in ‘the wait time zone’ minutes pass dreadfully slow – kinda the opposite of being ‘in flow’ but just as valuable – letting the brain percolate away!
Update to follow….
When his brother was also found hiding….and the third wasn’t doing well in music…..well kinda getting the hint tha this is more than a one person job! Glad that our school team has classroom and support teachers that are willin to ‘try different’. And mom is great to work with. And tomorrow is another day…..and not a day after a long weekend…