It was time to upgrade some of my classroom seating. It is important to me that kids have cozy places to cuddle up and read. I also think that having some inviting seating gives a warm look to the classroom that makes kids feel welcome. Two of the chairs I purchased were inflatable with a corduroy type texture to them.
Yesterday, one of my students "noticed" that the chair nearest my desk was deflating. I thought that maybe one of the pluggie things had come unplugged. As I wondered about what could be going on, my student, the one that noticed that the chair was deflating, the one who often sits in that chair, noticed a whole in it. The hole was minuscule. I never would have found it on my own. I don't want to think that my student punctured the chair. I don't want to think that he did it on purpose. What I know is this boy often sat in this chair. This boy noticed the deflating chair. He knew right where to look for the leak.
The chair and the pin hole are the least of my problems. This boy has got me feeling a little deflated. He is sort of a big kid with a ton of energy. Every time he moves about the classroom, he does so while sort of dancing and leaping about. During whole class instruction, this student is either blurting out or completely disengaged. Morning is definitely his best time of day. He thrives during number talks and during #classroombookaday. There is no doubt in my mind that this boy is bright. I just need to figure out how to reach him.
During the first week of school our class was talking about student growth. We talked about how we're all working on something. Some of us are working on developing as mathematicians while other students really have to focus in on literacy skill development. Other children need to focus their energy on developing age appropriate social skills so that they can finally earn a friend. During this conversation, this particular boy confessed that he used to really struggle with behavior and attention and he used to take a medicine to help. He let the class and me know that he no longer needs this medicine to attend and comply with behavior demands.
There is no doubt in my mind that this boy is very bright. The truth is, he has made remarkable gains in just a few years. He is bilingual and is supported by our English Language Learner (ELL) teacher. Despite being bright, this student falls apart when it is time to express himself on paper with pencil. It is hard to tell whether the root cause of his struggle is language, skills, attention, or work ethic. He definitely requires frequent teacher checkins or teacher nearness when possible. It is early days. I keep telling myself this, but still, I'm feeling a little deflated.