Monday, 16 May 2016
Don't give up!
Today I had a small win with one of my students, and I'm sure I had nothing to do with it..
This particular student, let's call him Bob, is the class 'trouble' child,
(keep in mind my class is the best in the school..)
His typical day involves not learning anything, distracting his friends, going on the wrong things on his netbook, saying 'I don't know' ten million times, picking fights at break times etc etc.
Today though, he surprised me, nearly every minute of the day.
Bob shared his thinking during shared reading by adding an adjective to a discussion about how to describe eyes. He typically does not share anything during class discussions.
During guided reading, although he took some time to engage in a book I chose almost specifically for him, he did then engage in the discussion about the story afterwards. Which actually proves, that even though he wasn't reading along with the group, he was listening.
Bob was with me and other students of his approximate level for writing and maths instruction. He was on task, went and showed another student how/where to get their follow up task on their netbook (a decision of his own accord, I might add).
While walking around on duty, one of my students ran up to me and told me that Bob was playing with a dead bird. I instantly thought, 'Oh Lord, here we go' and made my way over.... to find Bob, stroking an injured bird, with the crook in his index finger, in the most gentle manner I have ever seen of a child or an adult. I picked up my jaw from the ground and just watched. He was so nurturing, so gentle. When the bird hopped away because too many were standing around, he followed it slowly and sat down and patted it once again. His friends went back to playing soccer, and he sat. Ten minutes later, it turns out he got angry at another student and almost had a fight.. Over what? the bird. The other kid wouldn't leave the little bird alone, and he was just trying to protect it. Were his actions reasonable? No, maybe no. But in principle? I couldn't be prouder.
Bob wrote a story about the little bird (note: he has written probably five sentences with direct teacher instruction all year) and was eager to engage in the Cybersmart lesson that followed it. He managed himself on his netbook and was on task, eager to listen and learn.
All I could thing all day was, how can I repeat this? What is happening, and how can I make it happen again? Was it because Bob spent the weekend with his dad, who he is never allowed to see? Was it because he had more time directly with a teacher? Was it because his best friend was back at school after two weeks of absence? Was it because he just had a lot of sleep the night before?
The thing is, there is no way to know. All I can do is celebrate this day, and remember what Bob CAN be like, and not give up on him when he isn't.