Sunday, December 6, 2015
This year I'm in a 1:1 setting with Chromebooks. It's been an exciting journey. However, the other day I saw this tweet by @mraspinall, and it inspired me to write about "that" kid in my class this year and the benefits of going 1:1 with your students.
"That" kid is a challenge! I won't go into all of his diagnosed "shortcomings". Suffice it to say, he is the kid in the class that is constantly interrupting, off-task more than on, and distracts other students. He is "that" kid that gets into fights on the playground, throws temper tantrums when his team doesn't use his idea, and loves to scribble--on everything.
But he's also "that" kid that can be loving, thoughtful and kind. He often shows empathy for other students and seeks to understand them better. He laughs, and he's silly. He's "that" kid that has a smile a mile wide when he's happy.
The other day on the bus traveling to our field trip, he was sitting alone. I sat next to him to get to know him a little better. Honestly, I didn't want to at first. I wanted just a few minutes of peace. But something inside my heart told me to take the opportunity to build the relationship--to go 1:1. I did and am glad that I did.
I had a marvelous conversation with "that" kid about Minecraft, Legos, and his family. I learned more about his likes/dislikes. I learned about some of his challenges. I learned one more way that I could get him to write (which he hates and lets me know every day) *Note to self: Let him write the stories that he wanted to tell me about Minecraft. I don't know that much about Minecraft, but maybe I could get him to write and then build something to share his story. Other ideas about how I could better meet his needs popped into my head as he talked.
We had a great day on our field trip! In fact, we've had a few great days one after another. It's the 2 x 10 rule: Spend 2 minutes for 10 days in a row to build a relationship and watch discipline issues disappear.
Sometimes "that" kid just needs someone to listen to him and let him know that he matters. Going 1:1 and making personal connections with students isn't hard or time-consuming. They won't care how much you know until they know how much you care.