More about Hyde

October 29, 2009 at 10:52 am 2 comments

Several people commented on my post about “Hyde,” my junior for whom the best metaphor (thus far) seems to be a hand grenade tossed into my class. I wanted to respond to those comments, but decided that it would be better to do so as its own post.

Resources and Assistance

Molly suggested, wisely, that some of Hyde’s other teachers might have insight that would be helpful. Since the first day he came to my class, I’ve been trying to find anything that works. Unfortunately, it seems like Hyde has burned every bridge and every shred of teacher and administrator patience. Everyone is still pushing him, encouraging him… but he refuses to take any responsibility for himself or his behavior.

Last year I had a student who threw his desk around the room, threw things, and injured himself while in class. It was bad, but then again, he was 12. You can look at a 12-year-old with this sort of behavior and think that there’s hope, that he’ll grow out of it or find the right combination of meds or something. When that kid is 17, like Hyde, you begin to wonder what’s going to become of him.

Are some kids not teachable? I don’t like to think so, but Hyde makes me question it.

Hyde’s Diagnosis

Teachin’ asked about Hyde’s diagnosis. This is a point of contention for me. This district will give teachers accomodations (although we have to go hunting for them – they’re in our computerized grading system, and not handed to us as a separate folder or file) but usually will not give us the diagnosis unless we schedule a full IEP/504 meeting. So, technically speaking, I don’t know what Hyde’s diagnosis is. I have been told that he has “an alphabet soup of problems,” and that ADHD is one of them. From my own limited expertise, I would emphatically agree that Hyde is suffering from an emotional or behavioral disorder. He certainly exhibits symptoms that I’ve seen in confirmed SED students.

Accomodations and Legal Concerns

Teachin’ also raised concern about my legal situation as Hyde’s teacher if I can’t meet his accomodations. I’ll admit, it was one of my first concerns. I’ve been in touch with counselors, my department chair, and his case worker, and have kept copies of every email. I am a member of the NEA, but I haven’t brought up this particular issue to my building reps yet. Thus far, I’ve been doing everything that is asked of me. Hyde isn’t suffering from my actions in class – but the rest of my class is suffering as a result of his actions.

Hyde’s Future

Hyde ended up in ISS after our altercation. I spoke with the Dean to try to find out what’s going on with him.

Apparently Hyde is now on meds; his case worker says that the meds “turn him into a zombie” – which isn’t at all good for him, but will help those around him, I guess. (This is a point when I really wish I understood what his diagnosis was, so that I could understand what – on a chemical level – he’s dealing with. I mean, I know it’s not essential information since I’m not his nurse or counselor, but I am trying to teach “the whole child” – and IMHO, more information is better.)

Additionally, he’s put in paperwork to be transfered to an alternative school where he’d be in very small classrooms with lots of guidance and support. I wish I could say that I think he’ll thrive in that environment, but at least I can say that he certainly isn’t thriving in THIS environment, so perhaps a change will help.

The Dean, who has known Hyde since he was in elementary school, is at his wit’s end trying to convince Hyde to take his behavior and performance seriously. Hyde’s mom, meanwhile, is convinced that he’s headed for prison and has told the Dean that she would support Hyde being sent to juvenile detention. It’s not just me, I guess.

When I met Hyde, I wanted to be his champion. I wanted to take him under my wing and give him, if not success, then at least a chance. That lasted about a week before he made it clear that he doesn’t want a chance – at least, not from me. I can only hope that there is someone, somewhere, who will be able to reach him… before it is much, much too late…


Entry filed under: BAD BEHAVIOR, STUDENTS.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Coach J  |  October 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I there. I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m feelin’ ya. I have to be reminded every now and then that I can’t save every kid, and neither can you. None of us can. We just have to give them the option of being saved. If they take it, hooray for everyone. If they don’t… well, it seems as if you’ve done your darndest.

    Keep up the good work, teach.

  • 2. madhousewife  |  November 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    My daughter used to be a Hyde. We finally put her in a clinical day treatment program, and now she is a Jeckyll. It’s a miracle.

    Good luck.


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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