Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. the first bell rings on a new school year. Each teacher will great his or her class for the first time. The tone for the year will be set within the first few hours.
I peeked at my class roster today — even though I was warned it was not set in stone. A line of people halfway down the block were still trying to register their kids for school today (despite the fact that the office has been open for registeration for the last 21 days). We will receive our offical rosters early tomorrow, and I know I should have waited until then to start fretting.
Every year I am given one (at least) problem child. Every year I have suceeded in turning that problem child around academically. Well, it seems this year is to be no different — except — I’ve already had this child. He was in my reading class for an entire semester and he remains a complete mystery to me.
He was very intelligent and always participated orally in class, but he would not work. He was content to sit in his chair and stare at a blank wall for hours. Because he was content immobile, restricting his priviledges did not motivate him. Praise did not motivate him. He just stared at me through dark expressionless eyes. Calling his parents only lead to a scene where his mother shrieked and he ignored her.
The plan I will use –the plan I always use — is unconditional positive regard. I also always use considerable prayer. If you are a praying person, pray for B, and pray for me.