Are You Discouraged? Keep Climbing
Do you have a seemingly unreachable child in your class? Here is the story of my climb to reach one of mine. A 5th grade girl, who seemed to hide behind her long, beautiful, brown hair and glasses, had no drive to learn and was passively, aggressively defiant at times. Angela’s defiance never was loud, but it was just enough for her to let me know she didn’t want to do EXACTLY what I said. Her behavior was also just enough not to get into major trouble.
I had already tried to talk to Angela on several occasions, and had even taken time to sit with her at lunch. None of these things really seemed to make any difference in her behavior during my class. Now, it is time for my brutal honesty. My next inclination towards this child was to say “whatever” and go on with teaching–deal with it till the end of the year. I asked myself if putting in the effort to spend time with Angela was really making any difference?
Upon doing some investigation, I found that Angela’s mother had died the previous year. I can only imagine the pain that a child must face when losing one of their parents at such a young age. How could I not give her another chance and try to reach her? When I asked her again to speak with me during her lunch, she agreed. I have met with Angela twice now, and she seems to be having a better attitude in class.
Spend time with those students who have problems that you are tempted to dismiss. They could just be hurting. 🙂