Back to School

Maybe giving myself a three day week wasn't a good idea, but I do know I felt fully energized in the classroom this morning. It felt like a fresh start and I went in the class ready to kick ass and take names (pedagogically speaking of course). My instructional consultant (a mentor of sorts from the UC Santa Cruz New Teacher Center) observed me this morning and said the difference between this week and last was like night and day. Even I was shocked that ALP and the rest of the problem posse were engaged and well-behaved.

Of course later during 4th period, the last period before lunch, ALP was back to his old ways and several students were passing notes and it felt like I was right back to square one. Still I tried to kill ALP with kindness aka positive reinforcement. Today I introduced an MVP of the Day in addition to my MVP of the Week award and ALP was the first student to win.

What happened next when ALP came up to choose a prize from the prize box really put things into perspective for me. Of all the prizes in the box which include some toys and candy ALP chose a pencil. This reminded me of two things I sometimes forget. One: Deep down ALP just wants to learn. Two: ALP is just a kid, because really why else would someone choose a lame pencil with stars on it over candy?


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