Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teacher Success Story

Kinda hilarious, right? Years ago, I taught a fourth grade inclusion classroom, and one of my kiddos had an IEP...and a distain for writing. Like, no one could get him to write. Ever. Math? Sure! Reading? You betcha! Science? Yippee! Writing? NOOOOOO!!!!!

So, anyway, we butted heads a lot in the beginning of the year. It was my first year teaching fourth grade and I had my AWESOME writing projects and I wanted him to participate. Welp, that didn't work. He refused every writing project I threw at him. Finally, exasperated, I let him do whatever. No assignments, just write. Well, he also did not like the composition book, so I scrounged up some old computer paper. Note the funny hole punches in the side. Yes, old school.

I let this kid write whatever he wanted and illustrate his writing. He wrote a whole series. Alliteration titles and all! It was like the writing beast within had been awakened! Seriously, we made a section of the classroom library for his books and KIDS SIGNED THEM OUT! It was pretty adorable.

And then conferences came along. His parents told me they were very concerned. I racked my brain and couldn't figure out why...this kiddo was like my Most Improved Player. And then they told me that he was staying up late at night...under the covers...with a flashlight....writing!!! It was a PHEW! moment for me, and an oh-so-proud moment that I will keep with me for a long time!

Moral of the story: As teachers, we are pretty darn controlling, and 9 times out of 10, that is fine and dandy and works miracles. But sometimes, just sometimes, we have to give up a bit of our OCD nature and let the kiddos just express themselves in their own way. And maybe that's when we see the most growth.

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