a recipe for a happy child

i have a boy in my class who will sit for an entire period and not complete a single page of work.
he refuses to lift his pencil because "he can not come up with any ideas".
his head will go down on the desk and he will moan and groan as if he is in physical pain.. he's not... he's simply lazy often times.

now, i'm not saying there aren't any issues here. believe me, there are, and i have had several sessions where i have counseled this young boy. telling him how I believed in him,
whether or not he thought anyone else did.. i wanted him to know that I was behind him 100 percent. all the way. that he could count on me. no matter what. and will help him in any possible way i can.

he is an awesome kid. full of creative ideas. he is the student who came up with this writer's notebook entry in the beginning of the year. ..

Recipe for disaster

One litter of bouncing puppies, springy tails optional. one large mud puddle, one freshly cleaned carpet, one shiny vase. two little boys and a dash of frantic mom

Directions: take mud puddle, add litter of puppies, mix well (springy tails, makes mixing easier) prepare carpet by thoroughly shampooing. pour dirty puppies onto carpet. Add little boys. Run around until well combined. Crack one shiny vase. Add frantic mom and cook to boiling mad. Cool completely before asking mom for a favor.

BrillianT!! This is why he is such a challenge. Capable yes, obstinate? Yes! with a capital Y! He could write entries like this on a daily basis.

There are days when he drives me completely insane.. so much so that i feel like jumping out my second floor classroom window. but he's also the one though, who inspires me, who makes me want to continue to be a teacher.

it's funny how that works.

he's the reason why i started this "Jumpstart" idea with my class. i tease him about how he views everything as down in the dumps. one night for homework, i wrote in his homework planner, "only happy thoughts til 6 pm".
he said he couldn't do it.. .
I knew he could.
part of it is his need for attention. i think like a lot of my students, he is in need of some hard core real parent loving that he isn't getting at home. super duper hugs and kisses and attention.. one on one. he thrives on that. that's when i can get him to work, that's when i get him to smile and share about his life.

.. back to the jumpstart.. the next day... for morning meeting with my kids. i asked this young boy if he could share one good thing that started off his day that morning, he joked around a little and then out came this awesome response _ exactly what i was looking for, something little but something that made him happy.. he said .. he had sausages for breakfast. i said that surely would have made my day start off in the right direction. i hadn't even had breakfast that morning. last week, a girl shared her jumpstart was she was wearing her fuzziest warm socks for the day and that made her feel great.

Anything to get these kids to think about the good things in life. because as much as we, as adults, are dealing with stress and negatives floating around us day by day, I see it in these little lives as well. It's sad to say. And it needs to be fixed.

It has become our morning tradition now, I read a bit from our class read_aloud and then the students share their Jumpstarts. We've had some pretty fun ones. from little _ to big things.

This morning [Sunday] as I opened up the curtains, I noticed the herd of deer I wrote about months ago, now all grown up. Made me smile to see those familiar creatures again. Seems silly but, it's the little things, right?

Often times, I think about my students and what the future holds for them. Not to say that I am a master of psychology and have perfected the lessons of life. Because I am far far from that. So far i'm not a blip in the radar.

I think about the time they spend with me. the academic lessons seem less important than the other values I try to impart upon them day by day. if at my age, they can be happy about their yummy breakfasts, and warm socks. And instead of grumbling about the deer in the road, watch in awe at their beauty_ i will feel like i did my job.. even if they forget the definition of a composite number.

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