Thursday, September 10, 2015

Learning and Growing

And yesterday's learning involved mental health. That's right, you would have thought that I had tagged along with FRN yesterday, but I didn't. I was, in fact, right here in my local elementary school.

Yes, a half day subbing in a third grade classroom isn't so easy when you have a child who is categorized as oppositional defiant. Not sure what that means? I didn't either, but being pretty good with the English language, AND having seen this kid in action, I was pretty sure exactly what it meant. However, I still wanted to look the term up. According to WebMD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is "a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, hostile, and annoying behavior toward people in authority. The child's behavior often disrupts the child's normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school."

Was the child hostile? Yep. How about uncooperative? Yessir. Did the child's behavior disrupt his normal activities? Oh yeah. He effectively disrupted his own activities and those of 23 other people, that's how ODD this child was. (I read that sentence again, and it seems not quite I'm mocking his diagnosis, but I'm not. Really.)

I'm not complaining about my day yesterday. Each and every experience I have, especially while teaching and subbing, opens my eyes to just how different we all are and how blessed I am to have more simple issues here at home.

I hope for the best for that little guy I saw yesterday and I hope when I see him a week from Friday, when I'm back in the classroom, he remembers that I tried my best to help him. He holds the potential for something wonderful, I'm sure. And if anyone can help his wonderful-ness rise to the top, it's the teacher I subbed for.

I'm already set to sub for that teacher at least once a month the rest of the year. The opportunity will allow me time to get to know this child. I'll be honest--I'm not daunted. I'm actually looking forward to watching him grow. Maybe I'll do some growing of my own this year.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an impressive attitude to choose in this situation! I hope you do get a chance to see him grow :)

T said...

Me too.

Christina said...

I have learned (damnit, why do I do so much learning!) that it doesn't do me any good to get frustrated in situations like these. Nor can I pretend to understand what a person is going through. My only option is to be positive and try to learn something so that I can then apply it somewhere else. I'll keep you posted!