By: Adam Sutton
“Can we get 3 good things to start our class off on a positive note today?” Mr. Wallace asked in his usual way. “Go for it, Brandi.”
“I’ve got friends coming over for a sleepover tonight!”
“Whatcha got Mark?” Mr. Wallace said as he saw Liam’s hand shoot into the air.
“I had ice cream at lunch!”
With his stomach churning, Mr. Wallace called out, “Liam, I appreciate your patience. Whatcha got?”
“I wanna tell something bad! Can I tell 3 things! I’ve got 4 things. Why didn’t you call on me?”
“Liam. One good thing?” Mr. Wallace tried to redirect him.
“I’m not participating today. My mom said I didn’t have to.”
“Ok. You raised your hand but th-“
“I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.”
“Liam! Don’t touch me!” Brandi shouted as Liam ran off to sit in his chair and cover his head with his hood. He thought he became invisible with his hood on.
Calmly, Mr. Wallace instructed Liam. “Liam, come over here please.” Invisible under his hood, Liam didn’t flinch. “Liam, I’m going to count to 3. If I get to 3, you will have lunch detention and no chocolate milk. One.” Liam rustled back and forth. “Tw-“
“I want chocolate milk!”
“Two.” With that Liam moved right next to Mr. Wallace. He was so close his chest was touching Mr. Wallace’s arm. “Ok Liam. What have we talked about concerning spacing?”
“I’m too close. I know that! I knew it. I was just messing.” He takes 3 big steps back.
“Liam, that might be a little too far away. Remember about an arm’s length away.” Liam sticks his arm out and walks until his fingers poke into Mr. Wallace’s arm.
“There,” declares Liam.
“Liam. I want you to listen to Brandi. Brandi, why were you upset with Liam?”
“Hey Mr. Wallace. I just wanted to give you a little information on Liam’s updated education plan. We can’t give him grade level texts and grade him on it,” Ms. White the special educator said.
“Okay. What should I give him?”
“Okay. I know he doesn’t understand the 6th grade materials, but what grade level does he understand? Also, shouldn’t we worry more about his social and behavioral development?” Mr. Wallace inquired.
“We’ve got to get him ready for MAP testing just like the rest! He can grow, and we need to help him.”