Remember special project #1? My student who is very excited about learning, but has very little control? Are you ready for an update?
I will give you the bad before the good (it is always nice to end on a positive note).
MJL had a really difficult day today. He was the only student to reach silent lunch in the consequence chart, was removed from math session #1 and sat out for my guided practice today. All of this on top of the fact that he spent an extra 10 minutes today walking up and down the halls with me until he could show me what it looks like when a first grader walks in the hallway. That was our day and the reality is that MJL's days tend to look like this.
Last week we were told about MJL's kindergarten year. This student was pretty much out of control. When he wasn't sent to his own space in the back of the room to put his head down and check out of the class he was running around the room, crawling under the tables, drawing on everything in sight and could not keep his hands to himself.
MJL is lucky that he had 4 teachers that recognized very early into the year his passion and excitement for learning. He is lucky that we were able to create opportunities for this child to earn praise in the classroom, and he is even luckier that his 4 teachers realized his potential.
We had a "come to Jesus" meeting with our two FAs and the school lab teacher today about our management in the classroom. It was not a pretty meeting (nor unexpected), but one take-way from this meeting was that all three teachers could not stop saying how much improvement they had seen in MJL. The three of them sincerely believe that he has shown so much growth in his behavior and is really beginning to act like a student. Why is this so important? The data shows that this student learned enough to get close to promotion EVEN when he was separated from the class and removed from learning the majority of this past year. If we can teach him how to behave in the classroom, how to be a part of the community, and how to be a positive role model in the classroom, I have no doubt that he can handle the academic work. Imagine how far ahead this student will be if he actually gets the chance to participate in class.
Today I made a positive impact on this student. This is the feeling that teacher's live for. It is the feeling that will drive me to get up tomorrow and it is the feeling that will drive me to make sure I get my lesson and management right. MJL deserves it. All of my students deserve it.
Tomorrow is a new day. I have goals for all of my students, but MJL in particular. My plan is to engage him so much that he doesn't have a chance to act up. He will be my model, my special helper, and he will walk like a first grader in line. Why? MJL craves attention. He is at a stage where he is just learning to understand how to get positive attention and be a part of a classroom community. I need to do my best to give these tools to him.