“Mrs. Jones. I didn’t want to come to school today, but my mom made me.”
I looked up at Naomi’s swollen red eyes, red nose, and slack, open mouth.
“Are you sick?”
“Yeah. I have allergies.”
Naomi shuffled over to her desk and collapsed. She dropped her head down on the desktop with a “thunk”. It must have shook some mucus loose because after only 15 seconds she got back up and walked over to the box of tissues on the corner of my desk. I watched her take in a huge breath, blow a few brain cells loose, wipe her sore nose, and then throw the tissue away. But oh no! She wasn’t done yet. She grabbed a second tissue and inhaled, this time filling all the way down to her toes. Naomi blew for all she was worth, wiped again, and threw the tissue away. She continued to stand by my desk giving me a sad, hang-dog look.
I decided a show of sympathy would only increase the behaviors and turned and put the class attendance in on the computer. Naomi took in another deep breath, this time letting it out as a soft moaning sigh. She cleared her throat with several low coughs, turned, and shuffled back to her desk. I watched her drop into her seat and let her head slump forward again. “Thunk!”
Oh yeah, we’ll get a lot done today.
Special Ed teachers report most of their student’s behaviors in percentages. Today’s report for Naomi: 20% of the time on task, 80% of the time blowing her nose.