Monday, 13 April 2015

A Tough Day for a New School Psychologist

I arrived at 12.30, half an hour early. I went into the teachers' room and saw what I thought was quite an unusual sight. A teenage boy was standing near the door, and all the teachers were standing up and looked very angry. The scout leader, being the manliest man of the school, was reproaching the boy. The scout leader looked all red and besides himself with fury. I watched as the boy closed in, not looking at anyone, ear-buds behind his ears, hood over his head, all dignified and careless, and indifferent. When all the angry words and accusations were over - it turned out he (and two of his classmates) had climbed out onto the school roof during classes to smoke. "Are you an addict?" the principal asked? She was so mad. "Can't you do without smoking at least until the break?"
The boy didn't say anything. I asked him to come to my office after the English lesson - during biology. I didn't want him to miss English, and the biology teacher was quite willing to send the boy to me.
I worked with his younger brother during that lesson. I found the same indifference, the same lack of emotions, of feelings, of any life in the boy that his brother had displayed just a while ago. I learned about the boys verbal skills and attention span, about his lack of sleep and dislike for his teacher. He left, and I began waiting for his big brother. But he never came.
I intend to see him tomorrow, first thing in the morning, during the first class, but there is no way of knowing whether he will show up at all.
I really hope to make both of those brothers see that the world is not against them and that they indeed can be appreciated and seen for who they are - not as delinquents, but as kids that desperately need care - with no one to give a damn about how they're doing at school or in life, for that matter.
Of course, I'm naive and idealistic to think that I can help those boys, but I suppose newbies have to be that way, or there is no hope at all if we are all cynics right from the start. Oh, I do hope he comes to my office tomorrow.

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