I made Frankie mad yesterday. In my hurry to straighten up his messy binder I messed up his own perfect system of organization. By the way, Frankie is labeled as ED, meaning his emotions are a bit tangled. One particular weakness he has is dealing with adults.
I did my best to put everything back together quickly, as I did so I heard a something snap. I broke his three-hole punch, or at least I thought I did.
"Ooops, did I break that?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah...you sure did," he snarled.
I promised to buy him a new one, one that looked exactly the same. After confirming that he bought it at Target I apologized one more time. He was obviously frustrated and downright pissed off.
"Did I ruin your day?" I inquired.
I most certainly had.
I left work late last night, somewhere around 5:30. It had been another ten-hour day. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was go in search of a red three-hole punch at Target. I knew if I wanted to make things right with Frankie I had go shopping. I wanted to go home, really, I did.
I went to Target where, of course, there was no red three-hole punch to be found. Fortunately, there was a Staples nearby and once I entered the store I was greeted by a wonderful store clerk that guided me to the very thing I was in search of.
As I rolled the shiny red piece of plastic in my hand I realized I had not broken anything. Not only had Frankie mislead me about where to buy the thing he had also mislead me into thinking I had ruined it, along with his day. I started to put it back. I stopped and thought about the kind of kid I was dealing with and knew it was important to make good on my promise. There would be no forgiveness without the purchase.
Frankie was still mad at me today. I asked him and he told me so. He was also mad that he had homework on a Friday. I didn't assign the homework, but that didn't seem to matter. We decided to settle up after class.
He walked up to my desk after class still sporting the same sour face he had on for the 45 minutes he'd been sitting in my class. It wasn't until I showed him the peace offering that his expression changed...he smiled.
"It's exactly the same!" he grinned.
"Yup, I told you I'd get you another and here it is, as promised. A deal's a deal, right?"
He offered to give me the other one in exchange but I dismissed the idea. It went into his backpack and he was gone.
I saw him later that afternoon as he was running off to another class.
"Hey, Frankie! Are you still mad at me?" I called.
"Nope!" he responded as he sped by.
For now the teacher-student relationship has been mended, and I'm happy about that.
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