The speech language pathologist and I thought this seemed odd after meeting the girl because what we saw in her behavior did not line up with what the preschool teachers told us. Still, we'd only met her a few times and they were with her everyday- so what did we know? We promised ourselves that we'd keep an open mind when the year started.
She didn't come to our summer program so I was not able to get to know her at all before I left on maternity leave. My co-workers have kept me informed of what's been happening in my classroom and it turns out that her developmental difficulties were not from behavior at all, but in fact from a medical reason. The amazing team that is working in my classroom right now quickly figured out that something was very wrong- this was not a stubborn little girl just refusing to do her work. They asked the right questions, got the right people involved, brought her parents in, and soon had it sorted out. This was a little girl who could not hear- it had nothing to do with her ignoring her teachers just to avoid work. She literally could not hear what they were saying- she wasn't pretending to try to get out of work.
Every time someone tells me another piece of this story to update me on what is happening with her case I am so thankful for the team at school. This little one was so lucky to have a strong team who looked past what seemed to be non-compliant behavior and instead asked what was wrong. Without their questions and concern she could have had yet another year of teachers becoming frustrated because they misinterpreted her behaviors as intentional.
How often do we see the behaviors in the classroom as though the child has a vendetta against us personally? How often do we as teachers get lost in the frustrating surface behavior and forget to look beyond to the true cause?