Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made.
This particular moment from last year comes to mind because I was just talking about it last night.
I was teaching my most challenging first grade group. In that group I had a severely to moderately autistic boy (I say severely to moderately because he has probably the worst case at our school, but his disorder is not as severe compared to others). He comes from the emotional disorder room just for art and music.
This particular student has always been a challenge for me (still is). He means well, and he wants to behave, but he is very impulsive and sometimes does not even realize what he's doing is wrong (like going into my storage closet in the middle of a lesson).
Now I know you are thinking that I am a horrible teacher because this student is walking around my room, wandering all over the place, not doing what he is supposed to at all, but this WHOLE CLASS was challenging remember? Very needy. Lots of behavior problems across the grid.
So I didn't notice that this student had gotten up out of his seat walked up to my desk while I was dealing with a problem that another student was having. He took an Exacto-knife (Yes, I have one, I'm an art teacher remember?) off of my desk and back to his seat. The Exacto-knife was in a pencil cup, turned blade-down, so you couldn't really tell what it was. Also keep in mind that my room is very long and narrow, and students are rarely back by my desk.
When I walked by him I saw that he was discreetly holding something shiny in his hand by his leg. I immediately told him that he needed to give that back to me because it was very dangerous, and he should never take anything off of my desk. That's the nice version. I called the principal to come down and get him and requested that an aide come with him from that point on. I cannot express my relief that I saw it when I did. He could have seriously hurt himself or someone else. I could've have been sued, fired, etc. I didn't even have that job permanently yet!
Fast forward to now, I keep my Exacto-knife hidden in a secret place on my desk where it is not visible to the students. This student still comes with an aide, and the class he comes with is not quite as challenging, so I am able to pay more attention to him.
The moral of this story:
Don't leave sharp objects on your desk. Even if your an art teacher.