We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~ Stacia Tauscher
I have been working with a young man who is experiencing significant academic and behavioral issues at school. Shawn (not his real name) is involved in a local gang and has recently been tagging his hands, notebook and school property with gang graffiti. I have been trying desperately to develop a connection with him, seemingly to no avail–the behavior continues.
As part of an assigned consequence, Shawn was required to stay after school today to help me set-up for a basketball game. As we were setting out chairs for each team, Shawn commented that Ms. Jones (again, not her real name) had told him he had a B in her class. He was obviously proud. Shawn went on to describe how Ms. Jones had told him that she didn’t want him writing “that gang stuff” anymore because he was doing well in her class and she wanted him to continue to be successful.
My guess is that the Ms. Jone’s conversation took all of sixty seconds. Sixty seconds to make an impression, set an expectation, form a connection and enhance a struggling student’s self-esteem. Small investment…significant return.