Tomorrow I have a big meeting that I'm not feeling very hopeful about. I'm having an "M.D ARD" for a student. It means I'm basically having an IEP to address major behavioral concerns and determine if this is the right placement for "Jose". You may remember previous posts about Jose. I don't have very nice things to say about him which is why he's not often featured on this blog. If you want to know what he's like, imagine the most passively agressive oppositional-defiant ten year old EVER. Who walks out of your classroom if you're making him do something he doesn't like (ex: any kind of work). Who plays staff members against each other. Who bullies other kids (one set of parents is threatening legal action!). Who pushes my every button like some kind of professional button pusher. Every day with him is an exercise in self-restraint: to keep my voice calm, to stay consistent, to give choices, to not let him see how angry he makes me.
My colleague suggested yesterday that if you needed to break down prisoners-of-war to make them talk, it would be more effective to have them come deal with Jose than it would be to waterboard them.
There have been many times where I've felt like marching into the principal's office declaring: "Someone's gotta go!!! It's either him or me!!!". But I haven't. I've kept careful documentation of every single time he's been defiant and disrespectful. I've overhauled my classroom management system more than once.
And despite my best efforts, this is where the system fails: I can't make his two other teachers keep documentation. I've offered two or three ways they could do this (shoot me an email, and I'll document it; talk to me when I'm in your class every day, and I'll document it) but bottom line is they don't do it. And I can't make them adopt the management system I've found works "best" for him either.
So tomorrow when one of the district psychologists comes out to run the meeting, I have a feeling I already know what she's going to say: "Your campus hasn't been consistent in your interventions, therefore a decision about placement cannot be made at this time".
I sure do hope I'm wrong. But if I'm right about the outcome, I may be the one to have a melt-down instead of him this time.