Thursday, February 03, 2011
Small Victory #2
I smiled, "Thanks buddy! Make sure your name is on it and put it on my desk." He smiled back and set it on my desk.
This is one tough cookie that I work with every day. Yesterday had involved a situation that required me to detain this student after school. It was a chance to express my concerns, as I started into my well rehearsed speech, I looked at this student who wanted nothing more than to be rid of me. I knew I was using the wrong tactic completely. I stopped mid-stream.
"I just want to tell you that I am proud of you!"
A pause from the student. A quick look to see if I was still talking to him.
"Yes, YOU! I know that I have asked you to make a lot of changes for me and our classroom. But I don't think I have ever told you thank you for well you are doing. I know I ask a lot from you- and that is only because I know that you can do it!"
Still a look of uncertainty. This brought back a thought I had read on an education blog somewhere about how you should try to avoid using the word "but" when giving praise- like "You did really well, but, I wish you were doing better". It takes the pleasure out of the praise. I knew that I had to avoid that at all costs. He was looking at me now as I thought about what to say next.
"I just thought I should let you know how much I appreciate you and all you do." It was time to end the "lecture" and let him bask in something positive for a change. "You better head home now. I expect to see good things from you!"
He smiled a little and stood up. We he offered me a high-five- a tradition in our classroom, and was gone. I sat thinking for moment as he left that these amazing kids just need more from me:
more sincere teaching
I only hope I can give it to them. I am happy about today's small victory. I hope to have many more to share.