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: 75

Tags: classroom, management, negative, of, perceptions, students

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

Stormy Hunter joined Diane Dahl's group
Thumbnail

Brain Based Teaching

A group of educators interested in maximizing student potential through the use of brain-based teaching techniques. Teach to the way the brain learns best!See More
Saturday
Stormy Hunter replied to Lenni D. Nedley's discussion Technology
"In the elementary school that I work in, we are VERY limited to the availability of technology.  Our 185 students have to share around 80 laptops and chromebooks.  And when we do get to use them, it is for a short period of time."
Saturday
Maureen Dunn updated their profile
Thursday
Lenni D. Nedley posted a status
Wednesday
Stormy Hunter updated their profile photo
Tuesday
cocowei posted blog posts
Jul 28
David Chiles posted a status
"Make friends not enemies. Compliment do not criticize. Like. www.NetworkEtiquette.net"
Jul 23
Dorothy Hastings posted a status
"Let’s look at these ten unique ways which you can do to celebrate your Parents' day. http://bit.ly/1SDGoKw"
Jul 23

Awards And Nominations

© 2015   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service