Note: For the next two weeks, the Hearts For Teaching Blog posts will appear here on this site. I will move them over when the Hearts For Teaching Blog is up and running well again!! (probably Sept. 1st)
I’m really focusing on my “hard to win” students these first few days. The sooner I can get them on board, the sooner they start making progress. Once that happens, there is no stopping them. It’s getting them started that is the challenge!
Right now, these students fall into two categories (mostly): a. students who have been asked to repeat a level and b. students who have had more success with being obnoxious and funny than with classwork.
Some of my sweetest moments this week have come from these kids…..so I wanted to share my “chair guy” story with you. Chair Guy started Day #1 by being the loudest, smart-mouthed and most vocal kid in Spanish 2…..and of course, all in English. On the second day of class a new student entered just as we were about to start the first activity. All of the chairs were full. The student looked around for a seat, and in a split second it was obvious that no chairs were readily available.
“Sucks to be you!”, yells out Chair Guy. The entire class looks at him, and then at me. Chair Guy isn’t even aware that he has said/done anything questionable. I go over to my desk and picked up a Wildcat Way (the school’s recognition rewards that can be turned in for prizes etc.)
“Hmmmm”, I say to Chair Guy, slowly waving the Wildcat Way, “I think you meant to say–I’ll find you a chair.”
Chair Guy looks at me for a second, puzzled, and then he gets it. He stands up, goes to the corner of the room, picks up a chair from a few that are stacked in a corner. “Where would you like to sit?, “he asks the girl, “I’ll put it anywhere you would like.” She points, he puts the chair down, and I hand him the Wildcat Way with a thank you.
Not 10 seconds later ANOTHER student enters the room. Chair Guy is on his feet in a second. “WELCOME!!, ” he yells, “I’ll get you a seat! Where would you like to sit?” The student gets a personally-chosen seat and Chair Guy gets another Wildcat Way.
Now, the next day, a student comes in late. Chair Guy jumps up and says, “Welcome! There’s a chair for you over there!” No kidding. I don’t know who is happier, me or Chair Guy!!
On the way out he says to me, “You know, I’ve never gotten any of these before. It’s easier than I thought to do the right thing.”
Welcome to the class Chair Guy!!!! So glad he’s here.
It isn’t always that “easy”. But I’m finding that it is much, much easier in the first few days.