On the second day of school, this girl was the first one there. I greeted her enthusiastically at the door and encouraged her to put her things away and get started on her morning work.
She sat down, and was a little talkative, but otherwise fine. When it was time to go over morning work, I made sure to call her up early and often. Keeping her involved seemed to really help, but she also came over to me a few minutes later.
"Did you notice? I'm trying really hard to be good." And I gushed about how much I had noticed her effort, and she smiled.
About an hour later, the secretary called down. She had to go to a doctors' appointment. She was gone the rest of the day.
But on the third day of classes, she came back. The morning started out rough, and I nearly called her mom again (as this seems to be the only consequence that really motivates her). She finally let me talk with her, though, and she told me she had a rough morning. I told her I didn't want to make it even rougher by calling home or sending her to the office, but I needed her help for that to happen. I told her I wanted to call her mom or send a note at the end of the day telling her mom what a wonderful job she had done today. She liked that. After we talked for a few minutes, she went back to her seat a little subdued.
Her former teacher had told me that she usually has more trouble before her medicine kicks in, about an hour into the morning. And that may be true, because it did seem like after a point, she wasn't struggling so much to behave, and honestly, just to be in a good mood. I don't know how much of that is the medicine, and how much of that was distancing herself from a rough morning at home, but it did seem like the day improved.
I think she still misses her teacher from the school year, and it's hard because we are in the same classroom. But by the third afternoon, she wrote "I love Miss _______" (me) on the back of one of her papers, and handed it to me proudly.
From making me miserable to saying she loves me in less than three days... well, I think we're making progress! :)