Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thoughts, Emotions & Kyle's bad day

Managing my thoughts & resulting emotions has been quite difficult.  My chemical make-up is such that  I give little time to allow my brain to process information before reacting.  I know in my heart that all energy should be processed into positive emotions in order to get a positive result but I have trouble with this one. I have so much energy flowing through my body that it literally shakes while processing every thought into an emotion. Before my brain interjects my body & mouth are already reacting.   An example of channeling my energy into the wrong emotion was today’s “snap” at Angela using energy gained from my son’s explanation of his bad day.  See note below:

Mr. Pruitt,

The purpose of my note to you today is to make you aware of a family crisis that could impact the ability of my stepson, Kyle, to fully concentrate on his work.  Kyle’s mother, Angela, recently underwent a surgical procedure in which a full hysterectomy was performed along with the removal of a malignant mass.  The diagnosis delivered to our family yesterday is that Angela has stage 3A ovarian cancer which will require eighteen treatments of chemotherapy over the next 6 months.  While my wife and I are very confident that the treatments will eradicate the cancer we are concerned that the diagnosis and stress associated with the treatment could potentially impact Kyle’s ability to perform in school. 
While we understand that it is important to maintain consistent expectations as a class in whole I am asking that the teachers be sensitive to Kyle’s home situation when evaluating his performance as an individual.   Today, for example, after returning to school from a sick day,  Kyle did not bring in a binder for his Bio-tech class resulting in a deduction of 34 formative points.  Failure to meet this requirement is not consistent with Kyle’s normal behavior and I’m sure that if his teacher, who I’ve copied on this note to you, were aware of his home situation would have been more compassionate.  I feel, in this instance, some consideration should be given to allow him to have a second opportunity to report to school with the binder with only half credit being given. 
Kyle is a hardworking, sensitive child who thrives on proving himself through excellence of work.  Today, when I picked him up and saw tears running down his cheeks my heart was broken.  As he began to explain the reasons for his sadness the grief that I felt turned to anger.  The first event evoking Kyle’s dismay was the interaction with his bio tech teacher and the second was a routine dress code check that occurred at lunch time today which resulted in a code violation.  I am a Salesianum High School graduate so I fully understand dress code requirements however what concerns me most about today’s “check” is that the piece of clothing in question has been worn each and every school day without controversy.  At Salesianum dress code is clear & concise and checks are not random or inconsistent.  I’m certain that the clothing did not meet the specific criteria set by the school however being as though it is a coat and the temperature is well below normal again I think it could have been overlooked.   
My expectation from you is that either you or one of your staff will have a discussion with each of Kyle teachers providing enough information that will allow them to be aware of his special needs.  Also I would expect that you provide some confirmation of receipt of this note to you either by email reply or phone call.  Please feel free to contact me at home 302-xxx-xxxx or on my cell 302-xxx-xxxx.

David M. Bursler

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