One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that our school system takes the entire week off. A whole week of not going to school, not getting
crazy mad phone calls from parents, not correcting kids for breaking the rules, and not being sleep deprived.
As usual, whenever I get a day off, I decided to clean. And by clean I mean I began to tackle chaos known as the picture cabinet.
That was where I found a picture of Queen.*
One year when I was teaching, Queen came to me around Valentine’s Day with ratty hair sticking out all over and dresses that were a little too short. Especially when she rolled around on the ground.
And she liked rolling around on the floor a lot. She refused to talk. She refused to make eye contact. She refused to even grunt when I asked her a question. Yet, she would scream and yell every time she was in the hallway.
I had to have a meeting with her grandmother to ask her to dress Queen in pants
because there is a limit to the number of times one should be allowed to see someone’s underwear. The principal wanted Queen moved to a *special* school and I begged him to let us have more time with her.
He gave us until the end of the school year.
Queen ruined the calm routine that had been established in my classroom. My bad boys didn’t know what to do with Queen and her horrible communication skills.
Time passed. Queen began to trust. And I began to find a girl who had a great sense of humor. A girl who loved to draw. A girl who wrote rap songs.
She screamed less. She talked more. In class, she became a really likeable student.
Since we had to have success outside of just my classroom, we set a behavioral goal for Queen. For her reward, she wanted to go to the movies (a big reward for a big change in her behavior).
Just before the school year ended, Queen met her goal and I called her grandmother to set up our date. Since Queen had never been to the movies before, she insisted upon sitting on the front row. In a dress. Where no one else could see her panties when she rolled around on the floor for a few minutes.
I wonder where Queen is today. And I wonder if she still wears dresses.
*Not her real name