I love finding little life lessons in the lives of my students. One of the reasons I love teaching in elementary school is because kids forgive and forget so quickly. I have a student who can be a challenge at times. When things don’t go his way, he shuts down. Today, he couldn’t find his bookclub book. He made a marginal effort to look for it and then just sat at his desk during reading time. I challenged him to find a solution other than sitting there and that threw him off. As we moved into science, he needed to write a response to an experiment and being frustrated with not having his book, and me not bailing him out, he shut down. You have seen it before – work refusal, the look that says it is all the teacher’s fault, a little pouting, perhaps a little glare.
I found his book shortly after and gently put it next to him without a word. He did not say thank you.
Our library activity after science involved randomizing the class list. Just yesterday we were laughing about how his name always comes up at the end when we randomize for seat choices each week. In the library, his name came up last – again. We looked at each other, laughed, and shared a fist pump. All of the anger at me for holding him accountable for his book disappeared. Ah, if we could all just let go that easily more often.