December arrives at Tyler’s School

Tyler is a fictional character as are all the others mentioned in this short piece about the lead up the Christmas.

Tyler – Christmas

What’s all the big deal about? I don’t get it. It’s just like any other day for me. Mum having a hissy fit coz we’re not helping out, me little brother screaming like a girl coz he didn’t get what he wanted, Mum’s latest man friend shouting at us all and a lousy chicken dinner.

I like summer better. I get to go out all day and most of the night hanging out in the woods or the park, no-one bothering me or telling me what to do. Much better than Christmas.

School’s ok though – not so much work. It’s December 1st today and I’m on my way in. Feeling a bit hungry, the biscuits in the cupboard helped. Least I get to see Jack again – I like Jack. He’s a bit different like me too. I know people don’t see it but I know we’re the same. He’s not living with his Mum anymore like I am – he’s in foster care but he worries about stuff too and needs to punch walls sometimes.

We’ll find out about nativity parts today. I know I won’t get a good part – never do. Miss Jones says I’m not ready for a part yet. Don’t know what that means. I’m 8 not 3 years old – stupid cow. At least Miss Baxter thinks I’m ok. I bet they give parts to all the snotty kids on yellow table. They make me sick sometimes with their perfect faces – if one of them tries to tell me how to play football again I might have to push their face in the wall again.

Wonder what Jas is gonna get? She’s the only one in our gang whoever gets picked for stuff. Not sure why as she has to miss playtime too coz she’s a bit thick like us. I guess that’s why I don’t get a part coz they think I might hit someone and ruin their precious play. Jas just wets herself or runs out the room crying. I suppose she’s cute and follows their stupid rules.

At least I get to see Miss Baxter before we know who’s got what part. She meets me every morning on the playground and helps me to feel better about going into school. Sometimes I don’t want to go in and have run off a few times – it’s just easier to be on my own then with all those other kids who hate me.

She’s smiling like she does most the time. She’s had a grumpy face with me a few times but not as much as Miss Jones – she’s a grumpy cow all the time. She asks me how I feel about the play. IDK I say – dunno. I suppose it’s better than work and at least I get to hang around with her a bit more while everyone else practices.

Everyones so excited about it all. Even Jack and Jas. Of course they might get a good part, I know I won’t. Still have to learn the stupid songs and sit around for hours while everyone else gets to do stuff.

Told ya – Jessica is Mary, Tom is Joseph, as always. Jack is one of the kings and Jas is an angel. Me? Yes you guessed it – I’m a donkey in the stable. Wicked – I get to sit around watching everyone else and messing around with the year 3 kids.

I wonder if we’ll be able to play football again at lunch time. Another thing I hate about December – you have to stay inside if it’s horrible weather and it’s so boring inside. At least I get to run around when I get home – I can go up the park with Connor from up the road – he’s cool. His Mum doesn’t care what he’s doing either and he’s always got something new to show me. Last week he had one of those vape things instead of a ciggie…it was wicked. If it’s cold we can always go and play Call of duty on his x-box in his room.

They’re all talking about the play – how annoying. I’m ignoring them but they’re really making me angry now. Why won’t they just shut up? Who cares if they got the best parts – I don’t. Lame play anyway.

At lunchtime I get told off again from that stupid cow Miss Jones. Can’t she just give me a break? I’m only playing with me mates. What do they expect us to do? Sit around talking like the girls do. If they won’t let us climb the trees what are they there for anyway? It was David’s fault – he pushed me in the goal so I had to push him back. What was I supposed to do?

No golden time on Friday. Oh well. Miss Baxter let me play with the playdough for a bit and she stayed with me, that always helps me.

I wonder if anyone will be at home when I get there later. If not I’ll just go and find Connor he’s always around.

Miss Baxter – Christmas

I can’t believe it’s December 1st and I’ve nearly done a full term at my new school. I do love it but sometimes it’s hard. The kids are ok (most of them) but the other staff are a bit difficult at times. I have to be there early to see Tyler when he comes in. It was apparently a way to help him come in as he wasn’t attending very much last year. I don’t know why. The other staff keep talking about him as if he’s a nightmare but I haven’t really seen it yet. Sure, he’s a bit cheeky sometimes, runs away and refuses to work but I can see he’s not got an easy life at home.

We spent so long yesterday deciding on the parts for the nativity and I’m not sure it was the right outcome. I wanted Tyler to at least have a speaking part but the others said “Oh too risky, never know what he might do”. Apparently, they gave him a part a few years ago and he ran off in the middle after pushing Joseph off the stage. Probably not the best outcome you want for the Christmas show I guess. Mr Johnson said “Tyler just needs a firm hand, if he was mine he wouldn’t act like that”. Most agreed, just a few of us tried to say that maybe there’s more to it than that.

We looked at this a bit at University when I was doing my degree. Attachment I think they called it, when children like Tyler haven’t had their needs met at home, then their behaviour can be challenging and maybe even confusing. That seems about right. Tyler’s definitely confusing, sometimes he’s so lovely but then at the flick of a switch it seems he can be so aggressive as if he’s trying to hurt people and prove how awful he is. All very confusing.

But in the few weeks I’ve been with him he seems really keen to try. Sometimes I catch him watching the kids on the yellow table – I think he’s jealous of them. He seems to know that they are different to him. I just wish some of the other children and staff could see what he’s like at the start of the day and understand a little bit about his home life.

Mum seems to be trying and I know she has a lot on her plate. 5 children would be a big deal for anyone, but for someone on their own most of the time it must be really tough.

Here he is…..”Hi Tyler, how was your evening?”. He seems distracted today. I mention to him that the parts for the play will be announced this morning and ask him how he feels about it – he just shrugs and says “I dunno”. I might have to stay close when it’s announced just to make sure he’s ok.

Mr Stone (The Head) announces in assembly the parts for the play and there’s lots of smiles from some children. Jas seems pleased but Tyler and Jack just stare at the floor. Lunchtime might be challenging today.

Yes, as I thought Tyler’s in trouble again and brought into the classroom to talk about his lack of control and aggressive behaviour. I’m not sure he really understands what that means.

I try to play with him for a while with the play-dough and he seems to calm down a bit. I know he likes routines and predictability. This month is going to be a nightmare for him, and the rest of us!

Merry Christmas and peace to all? – we’ll see!

Nicola Marshall
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Nicola Marshall

With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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