Here’s a story about another once very difficult child, we’ll call him Fred. Fred refused to work with me, he is on my “academic focus list” if you’ll remember that means I work with this student individually to make sure he stays on task and gets his grades up. Day after day I would ask Fred if he would like help on his math and he would either pretend I wasn’t there or say something to the effect of “leave me alone, I aint stupid!”
After a while I realized I would have to change my tactic, so every day I would bring him a pencil and paper, place it on his desk and say “Here ya go Fred, the problems are on the board” most of the time he would ignore me, other times he would say “Man you know I aint finna do this” and to that I would respond, “well that’s too bad Fred, I guess you’ll be taking this class again next year”.
One day we had the same short discussion and he said “I won’t be in this class next year I’m transferring I’m finna move to New York to live with my sister”, “oh that’s nice” I responded “ but you’ll still have to take this class, your grades transfer with you ya know”. “Not if you move out of state!” was his rebuttal.
Well after I let him know that it doesn’t matter where he goes if he wants to graduate he’s going to have to pass algebra at some point he seemed pretty disappointed. So the next day when I gave him some paper and pencil he sad rather rudely “Hey! How you do this?” So I sat with him and showed him how to do multiple math problems for the next 20 min. I didn’t get him to do any work himself but he watched very closely and wasn’t distracted by anything or anybody even though it was an extraordinarily loud day in class.
I told the rest of the team about the sudden progress and with there help, in less than a week he was coming to our room almost everyday after school to homework help, not doing to much work but at least he no longer hates us! One day after school he waited outside and jumped me, pelting me with snowballs (there were about 4 other boys too) so we had a nice snowball fight and Fred is much more likely now to do his work in class…if I nag him for a couple of minutes.
He hasn’t been around lately, I’m pretty sure he’s been suspended for whatever reason. Well I better get back to work, its never a boring day! God Bless