Nov 13, 2009

Find a Way

M is a student in my strategic/remedial double period Algebra class. Typically, M struggles with concepts but puts in effort.

Outside of academics, I'd say our relationship is pretty good. She has good humor and a great smile too.

M was out last week. I called her father to see what's up. Death in the family.

M returned this week. I tell her that her father and I spoke and that I want to work with her to get her grade back up to where it should be. She nods yes.

But M didn't show up Thursday afterschool like she said she would, and M starts showing a lil attitude in our conversations. Rather than trying, she folds quick. Rarely does she give off any sort of positive air. You can tell something's changed.

I approach her and say "I understand there are days and weeks where things aren't right. It happens to me too. But I'm still going to push you to understand, because I'm your teacher and I know you're capable." A nod, but still no smile.

During our quiz today, she stares blankly at the wall as others work diligently. I try to catch eye contact to re-direct her, but her stare is fixed.

I take a post-it note and write "M, are you ok? You don't seem ok. I want you to feel better. Feel better, ok? -Mr G"

I stick on her desk. It catches her attention. She picks it, curious.

She reads, looks up at me and smiles.


Dan Meyer said...

I want to buy a coffee table book packed with anecdotes just like this one, illustrating the healthy, cool interaction between a student and teacher.

K. M. Walton said...

Nicely done, Mr. G. Sometimes, it's the smallest of gestures that can get a student back on track.

Eyawn said...

Dan, thank you. And thanks for the shout out on the blog; it's always appreciated. Reader count just went up big time again. Good morning, America.

KM Walton, I agree. Caught up in the day to day, it's easy to forget what kind of impact we can have on a student's day and overall mood.