So you try a different approach; a stern warning; we will call your parents. And yet those parents where the ones that told you their son was a little strange, good luck with him. He doesn’t seem to care too much about that either, after all, they have had that same phone call many times before. So you wish you had a punishment system, some sort of way you could take something away from him until he behaved. Until he conformed. Until he stopped doing those things. And then you realize, hey wait, stop seeing red cars.
In my first teaching year, I had to take a mentor class, and although some times it was more a social gathering than educational, one video stands out. In it the narrator speaks of the “red car syndrome” as in you buy a red car and all of a sudden when you drive it, all you ever see are all of the other red cars. Well, inherently we as teachers see red cars in our classrooms too. You hone in on that kid and instead of ever seeing all of the improvements, or the struggle to act the right way, you only see the problems, the slips, the slides, the just not acting the perfect way. You see only the behavior you loathe, that upsets you. So stop! Be aware of it, speak to him about it, and then realize you are hyper-focused on him. This kid did not wake up that morning and decide this is how he would act in school; you are after all the next teacher in a long line of teachers before you. This may take years to help him with, or even better yet, find a way to make it work. Don’t let it overwhelm you, don’t let it bring you down, but more importantly do not take your frustration out on the kid. After all, he would probably rather be a perfect child too (which by the way, perfect children do not exist). So stop seeing red cars, instead embrace, celebrate and realize that we are all human beings, quirks and all, even if that human being happens to be 9 years old.