Class was about to begin as students filed into their seats. At a distance I saw a fifth grade student hiding and peering around a corner. He was watching the stairs carefully. As his math teacher walked up the stairs and into the fifth grade classroom the student bolted down the steps and made a run for it.
I have been told that the student has been “left to his own devices”, and he “gets to do whatever he wants”. Teachers tell me he is “very, very naughty”. I think some teachers still don’t realize I am actually a special ed teacher in the US and the kid would be my student. I asked his mother if I could tutor him at his house. The first day I showed up, he was maaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. He made it perfectly clear with the silent treatment that he did not want to practice reading. The second day he hid somewhere in the house for 20 minutes before coming out to work.
Today I walked into English class and assigned a writing journal. The student did not open his journal to write. I sat down next to him and said in a firm, loving tone. “Your friends are writing! You are smart. Do not pretend you cannot do this because I know better! You are smart and you will write like your friends!”
The student wrote three sentences in his journal. When he was finished he looked up at me. He knew I would be coming to his house to tutor him after school. He smiled and said, “Madam, today is ours!”
“Yes. Today is ours. I am proud of you.”
At our tutoring session, I told the fifth grade student that I laughed a little as he just escaped the wrath of his math teacher. I told him it would be our little secret as long as he never played hooky in my class. He is proud to be learning how to read, add, and subtract!
Update: He has passed 2 out of the 2 midterms he has taken so far, and he is currently trying to convince me he needs a day off because he is doing so well now. I just tell him, “TODAY IS OURS.”