The teacher, Mr Bashyaup, looked down his large roman nose and announced as if a fact of life that my son was a scatterbrain.
He informed me in no uncertain terms that my son’s mind was scattered to the four winds and never on the task at hand.
Having made his proclamation, he sat back as if to say now was my turn to speak.
What he told me didn’t come as a surprise to me. I knew what my son was like, after all up till school and in the time after school, it was me who had to tolerate his behaviours.
So, I asked him what he was doing about it?
This seemed to flummox him. I think he expected me to defend my son not agree with him.
To this teacher, the fact he could speak to my son’s behaviour was all he thought he needed to do in this interview and to intimidate me by his authoritarian manner. That I asked him to explain what he might do to address my son’s issues completely threw him.
Up until that time I knew his first and only strategy was to exclude my son from the classroom arguing he was an impediment to other children learning. Removal from the room suited my boy, the opportunity to sit somewhere quietly and day dream was perfect for him, and he loved it. But he wasn’t learning anything other than what behaviours he needed to exhibit to get what he wanted.
I explained to the teacher that exclusion was not a punishment but a reward for my son who knew how to press his buttons and get what he wanted.
It was at this point the teacher excused himself and disappeared from the interview room. A little later my friend Horace Wheller, the School Principal appeared at the door.
“Worked perfectly,” he announced, “that bird brain teacher has resigned. I knew if someone challenged him to change his ways he’d be out the door. Well done old mate and you can tell your son he needs to get back to learning like everyone else. Our little game is over.”