I have an interesting situation in the classroom this year. It's somewhat unlike any other situation that I've faced thus far in my slightly-more-than-four-years of teaching.
The other day, my students and I were talking and one of them referenced the special ed. classroom in the 5th grade hallway. We talked about how we all have difficulties with some aspect of learning and I thought we would move on from there. Instead, one of my students raised his hand and explained that he used to be in a "classroom like that." After some probing I learned that he had actually been placed in a classroom for students with behavior disorders for several years before he came to our school.
Now I have had many students exhibit signs of behavior disorders, but I could almost always attribute them to another problem that a student was having that manifested itself in part through poor behavior. I don't think I've honestly ever had a student whose actual problem was simply behavior. My student is bright and high functioning, social and has several friends. He is just (very apparently) bent towards bad behavior.
The thing that strikes me the most is that he obviously tries to fight it! This is not a kid who wants to be bad, but he can't honestly seem to help himself. In fact, in our first CARE meeting of the year he talked about what a great influence his dad is (he helps him study and takes him to church) and how his goal this year is to get better grades and be better behaved. He is not currently meeting that goal...but he could be a lot worse than he is. I am pretty sure that what I see is actually the reigned in version of the child.
I love and respect this kid for fighting against his natural inclination. As I watch the internal struggle, I can't help but be inspired. If I only worked half as hard to be better on a daily basis as he seems to, I would probably be doing alright.