SOLC Day 19: Expectations

March 2021 SOLC–Day 19
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

He’ll get a lot of 1’s on his report card next week. 1’s for “Does Not Meet Expectations.”

He began the year as he ended the last. Quietly. He managed his daily transitions from our classroom to the Learning Lab to weekly Speech Language sessions. He shut down when things got too tough. Retreated. Quiet. 

At morning meetings, he rarely added his thoughts to class discussions, needing encouragement even to say “Pass” when his turn came around. Limited eye contact. He struggled in the classroom with math, and often refused to look at the Ed. Tech there to help him. He rarely engaged in the work. Sometimes he couldn’t sit still. Sometimes he sat and stared at his desk. 

Somewhere along the way, maybe late in November, things started to change.

He’s flowered.  An odd word choice perhaps to describe a 10 year old boy, but it’s so apt. He’s simply opened up to the world. Now he laughs more, interacts more. His language has bloomed. Perhaps that was the key. 

He’s reading at home most nights now. Remembers to check in with me in the mornings about what he’s read. Has a couple of favorite authors. A favorite series. Still, he’s reading levels below the benchmark.

In Math, his confidence has blossomed. He raises his hand frequently to participate. Sometimes he’ll try to explain and finally say, “I can’t explain it,” but most of the time he’s finding the words to share his ideas, his strategies. He’s demonstrating far more understanding. He’s participating almost every day.

Now, I have to remind him to stop chatting. To stop class clowning. I had to move his chair up to the front row to split up his new and active social dynamic.

A teacher and I talk about this and laugh, “Be careful what you wish for!” we say. But we smile. Broadly. 

Still, he’s getting a lot of 1s on his report card, even though he’s exceeded oh so many expectations.

9 thoughts on “SOLC Day 19: Expectations

  1. mgminer says:

    This is happy sad. I just hope he gets the message loud and clear that report cards only report on a few kinds of learning. I love hearing stories of blossoming 10-year olds! I can tell that you have done a lot of nurturing and tending the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the details you share about the blossoming student. They paint such a wonderful picture! It’s so interesting how you chose to begin and end with the fact that he’ll be getting a lot of 1’s on his report card. That detail feels so different hearing it at the beginning and at the end. I really like that craft decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debbie Lynn says:

    You will be the teacher he forever remembers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    Molly, this is beautiful. What a wonderful miracle you’ve been witness to. I’m so glad for him to blossom, you to witness and me to read about it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love his story and the happiness he is exuding. We all will take modestly boisterous over withdrawn. I think he feels safe with his teacher. Safety. What we all need no matter the relationship at home, at school, on the job.


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