Where do the so-called ‘problem’ children go when no school will take them…? When Eleanor Craig took on the assignment to teach a class of special children who had been declared ‘unteachable’ by others, she knew it wouldn’t be easy. But how do you teach long division to a child who believes that the banana in his lunchbox is alive and trying to escape? How do you maintain control when one of your students has locked you in the custodian’s closet? How do you convince a child that people are not for hurting when he is constantly battered and rejected at home?Eddie can only speak through aggression. Kevin’s shoes tap out his anger. Julie hides under her desk while Jonathan calls into his inkwell for help and Kevin urges Douglas to kill Eddie. Having no guidelines but her own empathy and resourcefulness, Mrs. Craig tries to reach the center of the children’s chaotic world and gain their trust. Whilst progress is painfully slow, it appears that there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel as the children gradually become more responsive. By the end of her very first day, Eleanor despaired that she would never make a difference to these childrens’ lives. When the year draws to a close, she must bid an emotional goodbye to five completely different students. So is there such a thing as an ‘unteachable’ child?
P.S. Your Not Listening is the deeply-felt and often touching account of Mrs. Craig’s attempts to reach her five exceptional pupils.