But I took a book from a student yesterday. Nearly every day, Preston asks me if he can “just finish this chapter?!” before he settles into the daily question. Given the routine of the class, that usually works fine. It’s a workshop, and there is always time for reading and writing.
He approached me yesterday and asked if I’d help him get caught up at lunch. “I’m about a week behind on the fire-ups”. I gave him that look. “Really,” I said. “You want me to give up my lunch because you keep making the wrong choices?” He hung his head. I told him I’d be happy to help him at lunch if he got right to today’s question. His next sentence put me over the edge. “I’ll just have my parents help me.”
That’s when I decided I had to help him make better choices. I took his book, which he’d opened back up. “Nope, I ask you every day if you’re making the right choice, and you tell me you are. I’m going to help you.” So, I walked away with his book, and I told him I’d give it back to him when he got today’s question thoroughly answered.
A student behind him looked at me and said, “You’re suffocating him.”
I gave her a nod of agreement and a look of dismay.
A little backstory. I was talking to a district coach a few months ago about our classroom procedures. We talked about the student-led workshop. We talked about how often students ask…”Can I…”, and we answer with “Is this going to help you to do that?” Most often, the answer is yes.
So, I’d been saying yes to this student, but he wasn’t being completly honest about if that reading was going to help him.
Or, maybe he was. Maybe he’s okay with having to make up a bunch of work because he got the joy of liivng in his book.
Today, he came in, sat down, opening his computer, and he tapped his book. “I’m using restraint.”
“Good.” I said.
So, I do wonder how he feels about his choice. I’m assuming he realized he went too far.
I read a great quote from an educator on Twitter. ““We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” -Jim Rohn. I’m assuming he learned both of these things.
Preston just approached me and said, “I did learn a lesson! I should start with answering the question.”
Gratitude: Students who love reading
Goal: Keeping the best practice to fuel that flame, so I don’t suffocate any students.