Monday, December 7, 2015

Day 61: Mercurial

After our introductions to the new assignment structure, we started our section on the inner planets in earnest today, starting with Mercury.
This student also wears pink poodle shoes...
"Sorry, Mr. Aion," he said with his actions and body language.  "I won't be paying attention in class today.  I'm going to be putting in my headphones and working on the vocabulary assignment that's due this week."

This is the part where it pays to know your students.  I know there are tons of teachers out there who would tell him to put his phone away and pay attention: homework is for home.

I might be one of them, but not this time and not with this kid.

This student is highly intelligent but lacks the motivation to complete assignment or be a productive member of the classroom.  He doesn't actively destroy, but has trouble seeing why he should do anything more than 60%.  "All I have to do is pass."

I've spoken with him several times about how bright he is and the incredible thing he could do if he would apply himself, but it doesn't interest him.  His friends are also quite bright and in similar situations.

I saw a spark of change on Friday when I handed out the assignment menu and he was actively asking questions and making plans.

The first assignment on the menu, a selection of vocabulary assignments, is due on Thursday.  Normally, this young man spend my class either with his head down, or talking to the people around him.  Today, he put in his headphones, pulled out the textbook and starting doing an assignment.

Would I rather he be paying attention to the class and do the work elsewhere? Absolutely!

Am I going to stop him from being productive? Absolutely not!

Rock on, Mr. Fahrenheit!

Productivity looks different for each student.  Part of being a teacher is remembering that and being able to treat students and behaviors as they need.

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