A few weeks ago, I interacted with a second-grade student who reminded me why you should never give up on a child. While conducting an observation, I felt this student looked at me the entire observation, and she kept waving. We were in the class for about 15 minutes then we left. About 30 minutes later, I reencountered this student as we were coming from another class. As I passed her, she said, “Hey do you remember me from kindergarten? I replied, oh yeah, I do remember you. She then replied Would you like to come and watch me learn? I want you to see how smart I am now. I’m smart now! I promised her that I would be back.
When I returned to my car, I sat for about 10 minutes, reflecting on my interaction with this second-grade student. Two years ago, the second week of school, a principal that I support asked me to visit a kindergarten classroom to help a teacher. This class was a challenging group of kindergarteners, and the second-grade student mentioned above was in this class. The class was so challenging, the action plan included the principal teaching the class the first two hours of the day, and I supported the teacher from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday (remember I work at the district office).
After a few weeks, the class settled in, and the teacher no longer needed support. Fast forward two years later, and the student who had the most issues remembered those visits I made. In kindergarten, her behavior was egregious. She was hitting other students, throwing objects, displaying aggressive behaviors, and was so far behind academically. Due to a collaborative effort from all teachers, hope, resiliency, and resolve the teachers and patience, this child is now thriving in second grade. I make sure I visit this student’s class and watch her learn every time I visit her school. Great job, Dr. Miller, Ms. Yokum, and the staff at John J. Johnson Elementary School. Don’t Ever Give Up On a Child!