Monday, November 10, 2008

confused goodbyes

friday was the recess queen's last day with us. he will be attending another school that will be able to meet his needs better than we can.

the first time someone mentioned an alternative placement my co teacher and i felt like someone had thrown water on us. what? things aren't that bad, are they? and then slowly we realized that yes, they were. the more we sat with the situation the more we understood it was the best thing for him, but it didn't make it much easier. having to look his mom in the eye and explain that we don't feel we can do anything more for her son- that he'll be better off somewhere else. he's only a kindergartner. we only knew him for 12 weeks. that's a big thing to say to a mom whose never heard anything like this before. 12 weeks ago she had never heard anything about her kiddo that would remotely explain our decision.

yet we knew it was the right thing. when the class announced they weren't scared of bears because they knew he'd protect us since he's so good at fighting. when parents wanted to know what happened to their kid. when students stiffen when he walks over to them. we couldn't guarantee any one's safety in our room. even with 4 adults in there incidents still happened. the kids knew that.

on friday when we began to put together his things for him to take with him some of the kids overheard us. two of them gave him the drawings they'd been working on. he stared at those drawings and whispered, "is this for me?" for the next 20 minutes until he left for the day he clutched those pieces of paper. it was one of the first times we'd seen him connect with others like this. as we gathered on the rug to say goodbye one of our little ones announced, "goodbye recess queen! don't forget to be a good citizen!"

i love how the class, despite their fear, have embraced him as a part of our community. i love this kindergarten class and i'm hoping that if we can restructure they'll start to relax knowing some one's not going to come up behind them and throw them down for no reason.

today will be strange though without him. i don't think we'll ever get past the question of 'what happened to get to this point? what could we have done better?'

1 comment:

Sheryl Forsman said...

I totally identify. I have a first grader who we are beginning the process of seeking a better environment for him. I feel like I have failed him yet at the same time I can't fail the rest of the class either.