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Field Notes

L13's picture

Alex has a learning disability – I’m not exactly sure what it is but he has a personal aid in the classroom. This aid is only there for two hours at the beginning of the day and then Alex is on his own.

 After she leaves Alex gets visibly different – he is less focused and disrupts his classmates more. This past week, during one student’s computer time, Alex kept going up to the monitor and turning it off. Then eventually he just put his hand on it and never let it go so the girl on the computer started to ask him to move his hand. Alex wouldn’t. So I went over and said, “Alex, Grace is using her words and asking you to stop, did you hear her?” No response. Then I said, “Alex you need to listen to her and take your hand of the monitor. Lets go together and find another lesson to do.” Nothing. Then a teacher came over and physically moved Alex by pulling his hand down and then picking him up and moving him to the other side of the classroom. While this was clearly effective, it is not the first thing I would think to do – in fact it was probably the last.

 When is it okay to physically move students from doing something? I always thought that physicality was reserved for dangerous situations. Does this change when a student can’t process words? By moving them are we demonstrating that communication doesn’t work?