We are being a little bit gentler over at ParaEducate. Renay has been re-learning how to support a campus with death. It was not one but two deaths—a former co-worker and in a separate, unrelated loss, the son of a co-worker. So when Renay had a copy of Roll With It by Jamie Sumner, we expected a new mess to occur as Renay worked on some related things.
However, the book raised one specific question. And it is not an uncommon question: What are you going to do with the students who just do not want you, an adult, around?
What are you going to do with the students who just do not want you, an adult, around?ParaEducate
In the book, Ellie is quite capable, but there seems to be no room in her mind, for less support. And there is age-appropriate shade being thrown at ‘one more adult’ in Ellie’s life, and Ellie resents adults telling her what to do. Pausing for a moment, many students with Cerebral Palsy do have a lot of adults helping them with a lot of different things. Many complexities of Cerebral Palsy are health-related and there are nearly endless adults and medical professionals working with every single person with Cerebral Palsy. With the complexities experienced by Ellie, we could understand her IEP team being nervous to make sure she got the supports she needed.
Rejection by a student is not necessarily a reflection of you as an adult on campus. There are many honest reasons a student may reject an adult. Sometimes it is simply the truth that you are an adult and nothing more.
How Best to Handle Pushback
- Get the student, and their case manager, and find out what are the non-negotiables. Should there be some times when they absolutely need adult support? There might actually be, even when the student believes otherwise. And family might help target those things in supporting staff and training staff to best help the student have success.
- Pick a few things that they should do independently. Getting out materials? Asking for a specific material? Getting between classes? Using school computers? Getting into a group when things change? Whatever this is, know that you will be across the classroom doing some other activity while the student completes their actions.
- Be clear that you are aware of their progress, or lack of progress. You’re not watching the student waiting for them to screw up. You’re watching to make sure that they are doing the instructions. They’re going to figure out the things that need their attention eventually. This is also not waiting for a rescue. This is the opportunity to remind students to take advantage of the help that they can have.
There are more conversations to be found within Roll With It. It is a fun read for students in grades four and up.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.