– He walks into the classroom, shakes my hand, and takes his seat.
– He places his notebook and three sharpened pencils onto his desk.
– He writes his heading along with todays learning objective at the top of a blank page within his notebook.
– He begins the opening activity without being prompted.
– He actively listens and participates throughout the lesson.
– His class notes are legible and he is able to explain and discuss what he is writing down in his notebook.
– He uses a special sign/gesture indicating to the teacher that he needs a five minute break.
– He returns to the classroom (without incident) and quietly begins his independent practice assignment.
– He continues to work quietly and is eager to share his responses with his peers.
– The teacher has him come up to the front of the room to share/celebrate his work with the class.
– He returns to his seat and respectfully asks the teacher to check him off for completing his work.
– The end of the period arrives and he runs up to the teacher eager to receive his color for the day!
– The teachers asks him what he thinks his color should be and why?
– He responds by saying GREEN because I did my best all day!
– He smiles when the teacher agrees and marks the green color onto his behavior sheet.
– The student startles his teacher as he begins jumping up and down.
– He then waves goodbye to his teacher.
– The teacher smiles and then calls the student back into the classroom and says, “Now that I’ve seen you at your best, I expect no less! Continue to raise the bar.”
It is times like these, I KNOW I am doing exactly what I was designed to do. TEACH. This profession isn’t easy by any means. Not only are we expected to TEACH but we must also CREATE an environment that is CONDUCIVE to LEARNING. Furthermore, teachers must find a way to CONNECT with EVERY student in the classroom and FOSTER a HEALTHY relationship. It is no easy task. However, today I CELEBRATE because I have made a breakthrough with my most challenging student. There is a MUTUAL respect that now exists between us both.
What’s my secret? The relationship I was able to establish is the key. And understand that it took time to get the key to open the door. Don’t force it, just look for opportunities to connect with the student outside of your role as an educator. Swallow your pride, check your ego at the door, establish clear boundaries and show him/her that you care. It will all pay off, just give it time.