Mr. Erlington tutors math under a number of different school board initiatives. That means two things, he helps with students in just about every class in the school and he has an absolutely insane schedule. This morning he arrived at school having suffered a sports injury over the weekend and it was quickly determined he was in no condition to tutor anyone. So for that reason, I got a phone call a few minutes after classes began asking if I could fill in. Fortunately for me, I have filled in for Mr. Erlington before and easing into his strange schedule was familiar, though still crazy.
One of the classes involved tutoring kindergarteners on math skills. One little boy cried through most of the class and not just little sobs, We’re talking head down on the desk with great crocodile tears streaming down his cheeks. It broke my heart to think this boy was suffering so and I did all I could to assure him that he was loved and would be successful.
Later in the day, I ran into his regular teacher and asked her what was going on with him. Her explanation was an eye-opener for me. She explained that little Kyle had just turned five when the school year started making him the youngest student in the school. He also has a baby brother at home and the idea that this brother gets attention every time he cries has not escaped his attention. As a result he has adopted a similar strategy at school. Of course, his regular teacher figured this out pretty quickly and ignores the behavior. Me, on the other hand, no, I fell for it hook, line and sinker, shower all the attention on him he desired. I’m older than this kid by more than five decades and still got schooled. Such are the vagaries of being a substitute. No doubt I’ll have something new to learn tomorrow.