Wednesday, January 11, 2023

School Memories

 I was thinking of this memory today and decided to share it.  

At my first job where I was working with students needing special education there was a boy
I am going to call Sam (not his real name). Sam was a good kid but he could be quite impulsive. He had a bad habit of flipping over tables, often near the end of the day.  

By then I'd noticed two things: 1) A lot of kids would work for candy. It wasn't the best way to get them to do what you want but I'd do it when needed but I'd try to keep the amount of candy small. 2) At the end of the school day the principal would announce "All the buses are here" and Sam would, in his classroom, say it with him.  

I began carrying with me each day a small container of tic-tacs. Sam usually made a face before he picked up a table. Once I saw that face I'd say "Sam " and point to my pocket and he'd say "tic tac?" and I'd say yes and he'd put the table down and be good for the rest of the day. The teachers were impressed and astonished and this went on for months and months during which I refined it and would get Sam's attention before he stood up, he 'd ask if i had tic tac and be good for the rest day.
Oh he only got the tic tac at day's end not right at the moment he might have been flipping tables.  

Now that he was no longer flipping tables his behavior record became clean and he'd have whole days with no behavior at all.
I approached the principal to see if we could give a reward to Sam. From then on every Friday
I'd escort Sam to the the principals office and HE would be the one, at the appropriate time, to announce "all buses are in!" which he would be so happy and excited about.  

A few years later I returned to the school as a substitute teacher. I wondered if I would see Sam and if he would remember our prior arrangements. Sure enough, Sam saw me and slapped his pants pocket and said, "Tic-tac?"

No comments:

Post a Comment