My Leap List

Monday, November 21, 2011

Watching

     Today I was asked to have a student I didn't know in my classroom all day for In School Suspension (ISS.)  The first hour went by and he didn't do anything.  I just watched to see if I should push him or leave him alone.  (I'm practicing when to hold on and when to let go.)  I decided to go over and ask him if he needed help.
     He said, "No."
     I asked him if he finished all the work they had sent already.  He said, "No."
     I decided to nudge him a bit, so I said, "I bet they will want you to have some of the work done, so you might want to do some in case they come to check on you."
     When I came back over, he was working on some of his work.  He said he didn't need any help.  By third period he was asking for help.  By lunch, we had bonded enough for him to tell me a bit about his mom.  By the end of the day, he came up and gave me a picture he had drawn for me.
     As I hung it up, I asked him why he was in ISS.  He told me that another student had been threatening him, so he pushed the boy who was bullying him.  I told him next time to come and tell me and I would help him take care of it.  He smiled, patted me on the back, and told me I was an awesome teacher.
     Today this boy taught me an important lesson about judging people.  Since I knew he needed ISS, I assumed that he was a trouble maker.  Luckily, he also taught me a second lesson about giving others what they need, not what I want to give them or what I think they need.  I often jump in to "fix" things before I see what the problem is or whether or not they even need my help.  If I would have jumped on this guy first thing this morning instead of just watching, he probably would have shut down or had a confrontation with me.
     I am glad this cute guy passed through my life today and taught me some lessons I struggle with in my life.  I'm keeping his picture on the wall to remind me.

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