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Showing posts from March, 2016

In which a xylophone changes everything

I have a student (let's call him Max) who has been giving me trouble all year. He is often defiant, refuses to participate or to follow any directions, and stirs up the other kids to make mischief as well. On multiple occasions, he's started running in circles around my room screaming to avoid doing what he's supposed to be doing. Nobody has known what to do with him: not the classroom teacher, not the principal, and definitely not me.

Last week, after a particularly rough class, I kept him after class to talk about his behavior. I tried to explain why his behavior was inappropriate and unacceptable while he kept dinking away on a xylophone he'd pulled off of my shelf--without my permission, I might add. I was getting frustrated that he wasn't listening when he suddenly looked up at me, no trace of anger or defiance on his face, and said, "Mrs. E, I just really love playing instruments."

Well, I was floored. I wasn't aware that "Max" loved a…