He was clearly very agitated and lashed out at a kid that made a joke about him needing to stay awake. After the bell rang I asked the kid to stay after class and talk to me. Immediately I got a "I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT" from him that clearly was a loud, angry, frustrated request for more attention.
I told him we didn't have to talk about whatever "it" was, but that I wanted to know how school was going. He opened up to me about everything that was bothering him. He had been out for some extracurriculars, he missed a few more days when he was sick, he hasn't been sleeping trying to get all his makeup work done, and he's having a hard time talking with his teachers.
I can work with that.
We talked briefly about strategies for meeting with teachers and putting together a schedule for make up work. It seems simple, but admitting you have a problem and talking about it is hard for everyone. He looked relieved to get all of that off his chest, but just to be sure I let the counselors know and they followed up with him.
Some of our kids put a lot of pressure on themselves and the adults around them don't make it any better. Don't let them push you away, but give them the room they need to express themselves.
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