He slapped the teacher...

...and she didn't slap him back! Nope. She spend a little bit more time with him. So here's the story (I'm proud of her):

A child, let's call him Zach, was coloring...on the table. Miss J sees this and tells him that she has paper for him to color on if he wants, or a box, but he is not allowed to color directly on the table. Zach is going through some rough times at home, has some social delays, and is in speech therapy. This can get very frustrating for a teacher at times; and difficult to reach deep down and find some patience. Well, Miss J seems to be overflowing with patience. So, when she tries to redirect Zach, he reaches up and slaps her across the face! What does Miss J do? She takes him by the hand and tells him that he isn't allowed to hurt her and she needs to go do laundry, so he would be coming with her; and when they got back he would be washing the table. She didn't raise her voice, she didn't pull him, she just paused, took a breath, and reacted appropriately. When they got to the laundry room, he was still crying (he knew he had done wrong). When I asked what had happened, she let him explain. Through some quick and subtle questioning, I gathered that things were a bit chaotic in the classroom at the time (it was clean up time and they were making a major transition to another part of the day). Knowing this, I "suggested" that Isaac get to hang out with me for a bit. This would allow him to calm down as well as avoid a highly stressful situation back in the classroom.

Of course, he cried about this; but I explained that when he slaps his teacher, he doesn't get to be with her. It took him about 2 minutes to calm down enough to start examining the pictures on my wall. Once he was calm, I asked him what had happened. He kept repeating, quite mournfully, that he had slapped Miss J. This, along with his body language, told me he was very sorry he had done it. I suggested that we go get some ice for Miss J to help her feel better and bring it to her. He hopped up and skipped (literally skipped) to the kitchen and asked the cook for some ice. With a big smile on his face, he walked back to the classroom. I wasn't sure, at this point, that he really got the concept of what we were doing. Just outside the door I stopped and asked, "What are you going to do when we go inside?" "Give to Miss J, ice, feel better!" So, he did understand! We went inside, he gave Miss J the bag of ice, and this is what she did:
She bent down to his level and said Thank you! This makes me feel better!
I didn't need to give subtle hints to what we were doing, and she still got it. That made Zach feel even better.
It is so important to understand where a child is coming from. Miss J understands that this child didn't really want to hurt her, he was upset. He couldn't come up with the words fast enough to express himself, so he reacted physically; it's human nature. She wasn't mad at him! She understood him. She didn't punish him, she disciplined him. Natural consequences for your actions. You will clean up your own mess; you will take responsibility of your actions. Even better, there was a look in her eyes of true understanding; I know that she went home and cried from the overwhelming feeling that this child truly cares about her.

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