6 Dec

Tasked with the job of getting in contact with a boy who was due to start at my school seemed simple? Well not so.
After several attempts to contact the house, several visits, and no luck, I discovered that in fact the boy was missing. What a can of worms. When I finally made contact, (months later) he gave me no explanation as to where he had been, why, and the circumstances surrounding his return. Hold no grudges, every day is a new day, we began the school journey.
Frankie was a lovely boy, only 13 years old, and had attended school for only a handful of days in the past few years. Feral would almost describe him. He had completely forgotten the social rules, how to talk to people, how to make friends, or for that matter, have a conversation. It is only when you get to know the background that you discover that getting a child through the school gate, through lessons and out again with minimum drama is actually a momentous occasion.
Frankie came from a troubled home. He had several ASBO’s CRASBO’s, you name it. I think he most likely had a criminal record too. His mother tried her best, however Frankie always had other ideas and the two hardly ever saw eye to eye. Compromise was NOT in the language in this household.
Frankie didn’t much enjoy spending time at home. He was always the one to blame if things went missing, got broke, so he spent most of his time elsewhere. Perhaps that was the problem. I very quickly discovered all sorts of things that explained his behaviour in school. He was often locked out of the house if he didn’t return home at the designated time. This could mean being locked out ALL might more often than not. He came up with a solution – broke the bathroom window lock, so that he could ‘break back into his house’ if necessary. Mum discovered this plan, so got the window fixed.
No wonder Frankie was missing when I tried to make that first contact… it makes you wonder doesn’t it? What would you do if you were in his position? I doubt that he had nice mates who were willing to put him up, and I doubt that he spent those nights locked out simply sleeping somewhere.
It seemed that we have some serious work to do, but a special needs teacher NEVER gives up……

2 Responses to “MISSING”

  1. @creativeedu December 6, 2010 at 10:34 #

    This was so thought provoking. and so very sad.

    I highlighted your post in my Daily Digest of Education related blogs today as I thought other teachers would find it of interest. You can see it here: http://ow.ly/3kr11

  2. nuuutymel December 6, 2010 at 22:12 #

    Why thanks for adding the link @Creativeedu, that was very kind. Thought provoking for sure. Sometimes teachers just dont get to see the other side of a childs life. Keep an eye out to find out what Frankie's future had in store…

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