I had a tough conversation with one of my buddies yesterday. T is in 5th grade for the second time and is having a lot of trouble. He's in special education and receives services in his general education classroom. He refuses to do work, will not complete assignments, and disrupts others who are trying to get their work done. He is in the lowest groups for reading and math and is struggling with basic concepts. He's experiencing a lot of frustration.
We had a CSE meeting last week for T to reevaluate his individualized education program (IEP). There was a lot of discussion between the team and his teachers to try and figure out what would be best for him. We were concerned that T would fail 5th grade again and remain in the same place academically he's been for the past year. Ultimately, we decided to place T in a 6:1+1 classroom. We thought that his intensive behavioral and academic needs could best be met in a smaller classroom.
T comes down a few times a day to check-in for good behavior. When he came down yesterday, my colleague MB and I explained to him that he was going to a different classroom that would help him be more successful in school. T was extremely upset. He is a very proud young man who doesn't respond well to embarrassment, upset, or unexpected situations. T was completely against going to the 6:1+1. He didn't want to leave his friends, and, although he wouldn't say it, I imagine he took it as a blow to his pride. We told him that we would never do anything to hurt him, and were thinking of his best interest and what would help him the most.
As the afternoon continued, T calmed, though he still wasn't keen on the idea. I went to his new classroom (which is the room that my "average" friend B is in) and explained to the rest of the class that they would have a new student after our February break. I told them that T was nervous and scared to come to their classroom, and that they would have to make him feel welcome when he arrived. The boys were so excited! They knew T and were happy he was going to be in class with them. Seriously, they're some of the sweetest boys ever.
I think that the 6:1+1 placement will be good for T and will give him all the positive adult attention and academic support he needs. I'm sure that on his first day, the boys will be overly welcoming. But, how T will react on February 28th? Not sure.