I got a new student a week ago. One with many behavioral and social and emotional issues. To be honest, reading his IEP gave me a headache. And a heartache.
He was placed in my classroom because there was a rumor that he had an IEP, and I am one of two inclusion classrooms at our grade level. A few phone calls later, the IEP was faxed over from the sending district along with FBAs, token boards, and lots of indications that a pretty standard classroom might not be the placement outlined on his IEP. So, now we wait. We wait for a placement that will better fit his emotional needs, will keep him safe, and will keep his classmates safe.
But while we wait, we are all trying to honor what his IEP says he needs. Each day is a new adventure for me in reaching into my professional bag of tricks and making this work. Some days have been better than others. His engaging grin sometimes appears to mask some other hurts in his life.
Today, he did something so unexpected, that I know when it’s time for that new placement to happen, it’ll be difficult. For both of us.
After making a holiday ornament as a surprise for someone at home, my new found friend brought his ornament to me. “To Mrs. Bisson, From J.” I even got a hug!
Even when it’s only been a week, never underestimate the power of connections to even the most disconnected child. It is why I do what I do.