That girl is a terror, all the teachers say. She's destroying the class. Things would be so much better without her. She has no friends. She needs an evaluation.
There are many emails back and forth, conversations with doors closed. Her teachers say they can't take it anymore. They need to be able to teach.
I look at this girl and I wonder what it must feel like to be her. I think she knows she is always in trouble. I think she knows the other children stay away from her. But does she know why?
Teaching in her class, I feel what her teachers feel. The frustration that comes from someone constantly undermining what you are trying to do, the guilt at not doing more to help. This push-pull is something with which I struggle constantly. Even in alternative classroom environments, we ask kids to sit still, listen, behave within the confines of accepted group dynamics. But this is not always how they will have to be when they are in the adult world. Is it the kids that are the problem or is it the environment? I continue to struggle.