The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

What About Me, Mrs. M?:He's Not the Child He Could Have Been!

After a trying morning with one of my students, I approached his desk. In a quiet voice, I let him know that I was disappointed in the behavior he had been exhibiting. At least I thought I was being quiet. I forgot that my students can hear everything I say when I am NOT talking to them.


One of the boys in my class leaned over to me and said, "What about me, Mrs.M? What about me?", I smiled inwardly. No, I grinned inwardly. You know why? Because this kid, this kid that leaned over, looking, asking, for my approval about his behavior, is that kid.


You know the one, The one at the beginning of the year, other teachers ask, "You have ___________?" They shake their heads, tell you horror stories, and/or sprinkle holy water on you. 


It's funny, because I seemed to get it from all sides about this one. People telling me how horrible he was or how horrible he could be. After the first two weeks his Mom approached me and asked how he was doing. I told her that I loved him. She looked at me as if I was insane. She shook her head, "You wait, she said, he is something else." 


He started acting out about the third week. I took him aside and he began to explain how he had not taken his medication. I told him his meds are his personal business, but with or without them, he is going to behave in an appropriate manner.


A former teacher approached me. "How's ____________________?". I responded, "I love him." She laughed. "But you know when he's not on his meds..." I stopped her. "I'm going to tell you what I told him, his meds are his business. His behavior will be appropriate with or without them." That ended that conversation.


I do love him, he is a joy to have in my classroom. When he started he was gruff. He didn't smile much, and he exuded the " Oh, my gosh, do I have to be here?" attitude every chance he got. But, I noticed he loved a challenge, he was curious, and he was a leader. I worked on him, not by yelling, not by asking him if he were on his meds every single morning, not by kicking him out of the classroom at the first sign of disruption, but by playing to his strengths.


Is he the perfect angel of a child now? By no means. But he isn't the child he could have been. We have signals we use when he begins to get out of control. He takes a 5 minute timeout, or gives me one, in a buddy teacher's room. He comes back after 5 minutes, ready to work, settled. Sometimes, I have to take a "woosah" before I address him. And yeah, some days, I call his name 20 -30 times, but it's all good. : ) He and I understand that, and we work together.


The other day, I had to pick up the snack in the cafeteria, while my class waited in the hallway outside the cafeteria door. Guess who I chose to "watch" my students? Fellow teachers who have experienced him said, "That's a good idea." I play to his strengths, not his weaknesses.


He is a joy. And this kid. This kid who could have been so many "not-so-good" things, is now a kid who cares about what I think of him. What a difference that makes. Wow!

Originally posted on"Diary of a Public School Teacher"

Views: 100

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

Comment by Tabitha Fulks on January 29, 2013 at 5:36pm

As a teacher, I've always hated to hear from other teachers how terrible a child's behavior is/was in their classroom.  I try not to listen to anything negative about a student before I get to know them myself.  If a child comes into your classroom knowing that you already have a low expectation for his behavior, then he knows that's all he has to live up to!  Thank you for sharing your experience with the rest of us--such a great reminder.  Tag: fcc1_pln

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconJeni Marie Wolfe, jessica macias, Polly Gregor and 3 more joined The Educator's PLN
yesterday
David Chiles posted a status
"Discuss http://www.netiquette.xyz internet rules to follow with friends and family. Use the site as a reference. Set boundaries. Share."
yesterday
Dot McLane replied to Andrea Ray's discussion Is Professional Development Still a Joke?
"Interesting question. I tend to agree with the camp that questions the format used in most schools today with the one size fits all presentations rather than working on individual's needs for development. That being said, I can understand how…"
Thursday
Profile IconMandie Szakelyhidi, Mike Garvin and Dot McLane joined The Educator's PLN
Tuesday
David Chiles posted a status
"Just to be safe, digital detox for better mental health. Balance physical and virtual reality. http://bit.ly/2bJn3KS"
Monday
Thomas Whitby's blog post was featured

Innovation in Education is Overrated

As a society, we place a premium on innovators and entrepreneurs. They are admired, or for some revered in Business, Politics, and even Education. The reason for that bias is that innovators and entrepreneurs are scarce commodities. Most people are employees and not entrepreneurs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most people follow trends; they don’t start them. There is nothing wrong with that. Few people lead while most people follow. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. On the surface…See More
Monday
Bill Bridenthal updated their profile
Monday
Carl Errol Seran is now a member of The Educator's PLN
Aug 21

Awards And Nominations

© 2016   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service