Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now...

Saturday I went to the Dance/Fashion Show of one of my students (the aforementioned heir to ALP). I had to make the trip from my apartment on the Upper East Side way up to Washington Heights to the United Christ Church. The show was in an enormous building that looked like it must have been a theater in the 1920s or 1930s. It was surreal experience and my description of the place can't really give it justice (Pics can be found here).

The show was long, drawn out and awkward. But there were definite highlights. For starters the show started with three kids no older than six years old doing a Soulja Boy routine. Amazing. Best of all the show ended with an older man, dressed in an impeccable white suit busting out a bass with a gospel singer backing him, leading the crowd in a call and response of "Ain't no stoppin' us now...we're on the move. Ain't no stoppin' us now...we've got the groove."

As much as this student gives me trouble (and it kind of sucked to give up 3 hours on a Saturday) it was nice to come through for her after she invited me to the show. Might just be self-delusion but I'd like to think that her invitation means she cares about me and what I think on some level. Now I just need to tap into that somehow to get her behavior to reflect that.


Jose Vilson said…
You might be crazy for thinking that, but then again, you might be crazy for just being a teacher. Either way, be happy you were invited. Even when kids can't help their behaviors, they still can come back and be sweet as ever.
asdfuiop said…
I think it's definitely a compliment that she invited you. It was obviously something important to her, and she wanted to share it with you - sounds like you are making a connection to me.

I've posted a few comments here before, and ironically since my last comments I took over a 4/5 split class in an understaffed, undersupplied school - a class that had been with a string of substitutes since the first day of school, and I started the first week of November. I have 16 4th graders and 9 5th graders. The 5th graders were placed in this class due to having the very lowest math scores at their grade level, and they are repeating 4th grade math with the rest of the class. I still have to test them on 5th grade content, even though they never see any of it - something I've actually been avoiding, but eventually I'll have to do it.

I also got the "worst kid in the school" in my class. He's not as directly disrespectful to me as what you went through with ALP, but he's a menace to the other students, does no work whatsoever, talks constantly, steals, lies, etc., his mom has historically been completely uncooperative, etc. There is a glimmer of hope in that she did finally consent to have him assessed, but what will come of that is anyone's guess. I've seen some really troubled children designated as "normal" so my attitude is very wait-and-see as far as what kind of help he'll finally get.

I relate very much to your comments about working to find the balance between being "nice" and being firm and keeping the expectations high! It's something I'm learning slowly - this class went through a couple really bad months with all those subs (and having been a sub I feel for them, too) so getting them to accept and understand that I'm staying has taken some time.

I really enjoy your blog, and coming back after not reading it for a while it's good to hear about the progress and the different things you are trying with them.

Thank you!
Hugh O'Donnell said…
Although we have to keep our "social distance," connecting with kids outside the classroom aids the connections inside the classroom. And the process can take a long time.

Keep your eyes open and your butt covered, but give the kid the opportunity to be perceived as a worthwhile human being. That's all any of us want, and it could be the beginning of the students feelings of more powerful self-efficacy.

You made a sacrifice of time -- I'll bet it pays off for the child.

Hugh aka Repairman

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