On Thursday, I picked Julia up from school and she told me she had a bad day. After some prodding (but less need for prodding all the time) she told me (and later Marilyn) that she had yelled at school, that her teacher had asked her to be quiet, that she had been angry and needed to calm down. I could not get the why of it out of her. Getting to the why is still quite difficult. It takes an amount of reflection, an understanding of cause and effect, a working and workable history, that Julia still does not have as ready tools. This lack of why is a normal part of our days and sometimes, it is ever so frustrating for me. Sometimes for her as well, as I attempt to ask questions in a dozen different ways, imagining that the right words will unlock the mystery of why.
But it doesn't.
So, I write to the special ed teacher, who is a substitute until the end of the year because Julia's regular special ed teacher just had a baby. I have had my ears perked for some sign of substitute rejection or reaction, wondering if the "yelling" was really a inability to deal with teacher transition. And really, whenever Julia had told me about her yelling in school, there has been a huge story of some tantrum, or long ago, some hitting another kid.
So, I write to the teacher.
And I get back a note that she was in the classroom in the morning and Julia was fine. She had not been told of anything happening, but she would check with the others on Julia's school team. We don't know this sub very well, but it has been my experience that there is great communication between and among teachers at Julia's school, and Julia's behavior is almost never below the radar. She checked on Friday, asking others and coming up with nothing at all! There was some confusion in the lunch room on Thursday, but Julia seemed to rise above it. When her teacher's questioned Julia about Thursday, all Julia would say was that she was hungry for the afternoon (which was good to know since she had not eaten her lunch that day. Nice to know that not eating means hunger). Maybe her main teacher told her to be quiet during the day, but it was not at all noteworthy or unusual in the class.
And so, it turns out that Julia was upset a bit in school on Thursday and she came home and told me. And that was it! What about that for normal reaction of a 10 year old?!!