“I do not act the way I look”

May 29, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Posted in behavior, elementary, teachers | 1 Comment

My principal and I had an interesting conversations regarding a couple of my students today.  One, the new boy, is large, tall, and tough looking as well as tough acting.  In the last week he’s been in my class, I watched as he enthusiastically “put my armpit in” during music class or sat at rapt attention as I tell a story or furrow his brow as he works on a math puzzle.  He looks like a big boy, but inside, he’s just a little baby, same as any other third grader and ready to learn.

Another one, is just MASSIVE, the size of a high-school football player..in fifth grade.  He’s always been that big.  When he was my student in first grade, he looked like a third grader.  The unfortunate thing was that adults expect him to act “his age”, meaning his size, and treated him like he should have known better when he makes a mistake…when in fact, he doesn’t know better because he WASN’T that age and since people always expected him to know better, nobody bothered to teach him better.  He’s a huge behavior problem now, but when I come around, he runs up to me and excitedly catches me up on the events in his life.  BIG baby.

It’s an epiphany for me.  Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t judge a kid by his size.

The new boy in my class continues to have problems with his previous teacher.  Had an altercation at an assembly today before I could intervene.  Teacher made the judgement that my new student did something wrong.  My student threw a huge attitude fit.  Teacher got aggravated, things escalated.  The kid in fact was just wiggly, the show hadn’t started, and he just needed a gentle reminder to wait patiently.  He may look older, but inside, he’s just a little kid, same as all the other ones that were wiggling impatiently (none of whom got told off).  He wasn’t even talking.


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  1. I love this reminder! Sometimes I catch myself making the same mistake/assumptions. Thank you for helping me to remember.

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