My goal for this week was to be more positive with the students I have to reprimand nearly constantly. One particular student on the list surprised me this week. I had placed him on the list toward the bottom. It was mostly out of guilt for several times during the previous week being harsh with him about getting his work done. I have been frustrated with this student for almost the entire time I have been in the classroom. He will do absolutely no work until the teacher comes over and sits next to him. Once the teacher is there, his work is pretty great. He can do it. I am a little ashamed to admit it but I thought my classroom teacher was baby-ing him a little and I may have been a little harder on him because of it. It’s slightly embarrassing that I would second guess her methods because I have no idea what I’m doing and clearly she does.
Anyway, I had been pretty hard on him the past week and felt a little guilty. So there went his name toward the bottom of the list. Monday or Wednesday, I cannot quite remember, my classroom teacher told me about how she had been teasing him a little. She had bonked him on the head with a rolled up poster. Instead of ignoring her or simply laughing with her he two fingers up to his eyes and then turned them to point at her. It was the first I had really thought about him as someone funny like that. Later in the day she did the same thing, pointed to her eyes and then turned her hand to point at him. I realized there was more to this student than met my eye.
That Thursday, we watched a video and danced like a penguin. As the students lined up to go home, I noticed he was walking like a penguin. I realized this was my chance to build some rapport with this student. When he looked up at me, because I was standing in front to the coat closet where his things were, I waddled out of his way. A giant grin broke out over his face. One that is nearly toothless and that I saw for the first time directed toward me.
We waddled around the back of the classroom absolutely cracking up. I saw that there was more to this individual than met my eye. My classroom teacher saw it though. I think she probably saw it right off. Maybe that is the thing that makes her great. She clearly has figured out what it takes to be an amazing teacher. Maybe you have to capitalize on those moments. Maybe the key is realizing that funny things can happen on the way to the hallway.