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09 January 2009

You just never know...


I had a great day subbing yesterday. I was a sixth grade resource teacher for a planning day (this is a day when resource teacher and reg ed teacher collaborate to create lesson plans suitable for all students). In speaking with the teacher I was replacing for the day, she let me know that my only real concern would be one boy with ADHD who couldn't sit still for more than ten seconds at a time. Generally, ADHD behaviors don't bother me. I know what they are and let them go unless and until the affect another student. Okay - there is the back story.

So the small group of students arrived. I introduced myself and this boy (we will call him Steve) blurts out "are you the one who made that crane?" referring to the paper crane sitting on his teacher's desk. In the beginning of the year I left one every time I subbed in a room. "I am that one" I replied. "Would you make me one?" The delight and serious desperation on this sixth grader's face told me I had been given the gift of a much easier day...

"Steve," I replied "I will make you a crane with my best paper if you can find a way to help me out a little in here today." "Sure! he said - what do you need?" "I need you to do everything you can to be quiet and not disturb the students around you and share what you have in that awesome brain of yours - can you do that please?" "Okay - and then can I have a crane?" "Yes Steve - at the end of the day, you may take the crane home. I will make you one at lunchtime and put it right here so you can look at it."

For the rest of the day, all that was required was a quick reminder "Steve - you aren't acting like someone who wants to take this crane home." and Steve immediately did his version of sitting still. (Hey - if you have to sit on the chair with one foot tucked under you and bouncing a little to stay quiet and focused, so be it.) Honestly, I only had to remind him maybe three times... I had a great day... Just goes to show - you just never know... Sixth grade boys and origami cranes... plan only to be surprised

6 comments:

Sandi said...

Great teacher story! And I love the crane - plus it's such fun to say "oragami".

Evelyn said...

What a gift, for you AND for the student!

Frog said...

Well done you!

Daisy said...

YAY! I see you made it back in one piece, Frog! Thanks for taking time to visit here today! :)

Marvin the Martian said...

Cool, a good alternative to Ritalin! Plus goal-oriented behavior modification. Excellent!

Lu. Lu. said...

seriously awesome story, p.s. your origami skills must be pretty impressive