The name of my blog adequately describes my experience as a teacher. I am forever learning. I do not think the learning process will ever still. Not that I want it to-learning is half of the fun!
Yesterday I continued to grow in understanding a particular student who has a tendency to get angry and explode when he does not understand what is being taught in the classroom. We had just begun long division, a topic that is difficult for students to grasp, as it is not easily taught in a concrete manner. Many students were struggling and while I was helping them, I mentally was trying to think of different ways to reteach the concept. I noticed the above student was frustrated. When I approached him he looked up and me and said, "I don't get it" in an already defeated tone of voice. When I inquired further to what parts he was confused on his face became red (a sign of him starting to become angry) and he said, "all of it". I remained calm, while completely in tune to his body language and other mannerisms that I know from experience happen before blow up.
Then I did something so simple (something I do with all of my students) that I was surprised by the reaction. I asked him what I could do to help him learn, to which I received a shrug of the shoulders. Then I encouraged him and worked through the problem with him (fully expecting the white board and marker to be thrown across the room when he reached his boiling point).
His face returned to its normal shade and he looked up at me. He said, "oh, I can do that" and went about finishing the problem. I looked up at my mentor and she smiled. In my head the "hallelujah" chorus was playing. I am still not sure if it was the encouragement, calm tone, or if a light bulb lit up in his brain, but I am thankful for the avoidance of an explosion. I firmly believe if I had seen him three minutes later it would have been a much different outcome.