I believe I had an insight today. An earlier post (May 18th) talks about a special education student who has been having problems in my class. A couple of boys have picked on him. I noted that he has poor social skills, a contributor to the problem.
But I think I have teased out another factor. This kid is so very low, effectively unable to read and write. That makes him noticeably lower than all the kids in the class. Unfortunately, a couple of my boys have probably been waiting for years to have someone below them on the academic ladder. I have students reading at a first and second grade level in this seventh grade class. It’s no surprise that my special education student’s problems have come from that group. The sad fact is that when you have been feeling dumb since early elementary school, finally having the chance to make someone else feel dumb probably has great appeal.