Boo, trick or treat!?!
We don't want the truth. We just want to believe. TD exemplifies my scary thoughts.
I hadn't wanted the truth when I asked the class to tell me something that "I don't know about you". Wallop! "My dad murdered a guy." TD just wanted to trick me, right? A twelve year old over exaggerates, right? Wrong. It's likely that his behavior was learned - innate?
Needlessly to say, this student needed help. TD had been admitted upstairs as an inpatient in lock-in to have questionable bruises investigated. His father had with-held medication and TD , apparently disassociated and presented a performance of his father's crimes.
TD was amazing to observe. His voice, actions and eyes changed expression when he became his father. He perfectly mimed his father's behaviors and actions right down to his cigarette use. I suspected his father, also, used marijuana for TD rolled, folded, and held his small piece of notebook paper differently. TD, additionally, mimed his father while he was "spaced out". Talk about spooky behavior. I struggled. I struggled with my conscience concerning society's neglect. As pledged when TD came to my class.
The good news was that he appeared to sense that I wanted to teach him. He sometimes lived on the street, but he brought in his homework, simply, to see a happy face on his hospital chart and to see himself equal or better at something for the first time in his life. His homework packet arrived somehow, some way - it was a mystery.
He noticed that I shortened his "grumpy" time to three minutes and gradually denied him permission to storm out of the room when he was "fed up" or confused. Learning was new to him. He had lived with knowledge deprivation. Most people in TD's life had been relieved when he left and justified ignoring him with "He doesn't hurt anyone that way". Easier, yes. Easier did not make it better. Nor was it fair to him or to his village.
Kaye is a teacher and author of multiple works including Valerie Valentine Visits Vincent Vampire