Last year in March as I wrote each day I remember writing a lot about a young man who has/had so many problems. He came into my room last year as a 4th grade puzzle. He is very small for his age, mental developmental level about that of a 5 year old and unable to be still, motor issues with feet and hands, reading at Foutnas and Pinnell level A.
I was not sure any of us would survive teaching him. I put a green dot pillow on the floor and he needed to be able to touch it at all time. It at least kept him on one side of the room for a few seconds.
We all struggled, we got frustrated, we laughed and we wondered. Our little man cried, yelled, ran around the building and learned. This year he returned to my room. We both moved forward to 5th grade. He has spent most of his days in a small resource room with a smaller group of students and several adults who can really reach his academic needs more than I can in a class of 28 5th graders.
Each morning he joins my homeroom for morning circle and quick math. He joins us as we go to specialists and for all our field trips. He is now reading at level G. He has moved from one to one counting to learning his early multiplication facts. He did tell me today that “X’sing” was easy it was just making groups of numbers.
We have all come a long ways in just a short time. So when he shared with me today that he was afraid and not sure what to do we stopped to talk. He shared that he was moving on Thursday of this week to a place in the south. He was not sure where it was or who he would be living with. ( I know that his Grandfather has died and they are going to live with his Grandmother to provide support.) He only know that he is leaving to move a long ways away.
I know we have done what we can for him but my heart hurts as he leaves to navigate a new educational setting. ( 6th grade in a new school – he looks and acts like he is a second grader.) It took us so long to sort out his needs. His family is not able to express his disabilities well so it was up to us to watch and learn as we went along.
We are working quickly to put information in place so the new setting will know how to help him along but still my heart hurts. He is fearful, at some level he knows how hard it is for him to move from place to place.
The lives of our children are amazing. They navigate walls and barriers they should not have to deal with. I am in wonder at their resilience!
I will remember him and our struggle with the green dot and the growth we made!